SAN ANTONIO - North East Independent School District police officers will be better protected thanks to a U.S. Department of Justice grant that will equip them with new bulletproof vests.
Chief Wally McCambell said the grants will cover about half the cost of the total cost to provide all 70 officers with protective vests.
The $22,750 grant will also bring a change in the safety policy.
“It’s now in our policy as a police department that the officers, once we receive these vests, will be required to wear these vests when they come to work,” McCambell said.
Previously, officers had to purchase their own vests if they chose to wear one.
McCambell said the total cost is about $60,000 to the district, something they would not be able to afford in the budget. It’s a problem he said many smaller districts face.
“Just like the funding in anything else, you got to put the funding where you need it,” he said. “And though the vests are needed, there wasn’t the opportunity to purchase the vests.”
Northside ISD provides its approximately 100 commissioned officers with vests at a rough cost of $700 each. Two years ago, South San ISD also purchased its officers vests with an estimated budget of $25,000.
The lighter and fitted vests come with a five-year warranty and were purchased through Nardis Gun Club, a local company.
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