State to award money for rifle-resistant body armor

By Kristen Tribe | Published Monday, Oct. 16, 2017

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Wise County commissioners Monday approved a resolution accepting a grant from the state of Texas for rifle-resistant body armor.

The grant requires no matching funds, but it will cover the purchase of body armor for every officer that works for the county, including constables and the fire marshal’s office.

Heinrich Downes with the sheriff’s office said the grant was created by the state following the July 2016 shooting in Dallas that left five police officers dead and nine others injured. He said $25 million was allotted for the whole state.

“Some agencies had already purchased body armor, so they can’t go through the state, which is actually to our advantage,” he said.

Downes described the body armor as a piece of equipment officers would carry in their cars.

“It’s a thick plate, 3 pounds in addition to what they wear. Quick disconnects, quick on and off,” he said.

Downes said the armor would withstand multiple hits from a high caliber rifle.

“Dallas didn’t have that equipment with them,” he said. “They ran into that building, and they didn’t have the gear to support that. It would have given them a chance to survive. ”

Read more in the midweek Messenger on newsstands Wednesday.

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