A Justice Department grant is helping fund bulletproof vests for local police departments

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SOUTHEAST KANSAS — The U.S. Justice Department is awarding more than 62 million dollars to law enforcement across the country, including agencies in Southeast Kansas.

The Galena Police Department is one of more than five thousand agencies across the country to receive money in support of the safety and health of officers.

More than 2.1 million dollars was distributed under the bullet proof vest partnership program.

The program reimburses up to 50 percent of the cost for bullet proof vests departments have purchased.

Galena has been applying for the grant every year since 2013.

Chief Billy Charles, said, “The type of vests that we have been getting has a five year lifespan on it. So that’s why we only apply for so many per year. We have them on a rotational basis and each year we apply to make up for the ones that have either expired or new officers that we’ve hired.”

Chief Charles says to be eligible for the grant, the department’s policy must state that officers wear the vest any time they are on duty.

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