(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has awarded more than $345,000 in grants to more than 60 local police departments around the state over the last three months to purchase body armor vests for their officers. Yost released updated maps and statistics today reflecting these latest awards in the Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor Program.
“Every department wants to have a vest for every officer, but the vests are not cheap and have to be replaced after a certain number of years,” Yost said. “Helping to protect these officers is a meaningful way to thank them as they put themselves at risk for our sake each day.”
The Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor Program is administered by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, with funding provided by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) as part of its Safety Intervention Grant Program.
An interactive map on the attorney general’s website identifies participating agencies and allows users to examine where $3.9 million in grants to-date are being used statewide. The program began in August 2018, with $3.55 million in grants awarded through fiscal year 2019. In August 2019, Yost and Gov. Mike DeWine announced $3.5 million in new funding for the program. Since then, $345,837 in new grants have been issued to 63 Ohio police agencies. A total of 426 agencies have received grants during the life of the program.
Participating agencies can receive up to $40,000 to purchase body armor vests with a local match of 25%. More than 40 of the agencies receiving grants in the last three months had received grants previously but had not claimed the maximum $40,000 and were, therefore, able to apply for additional grant dollars.
Eligibility is restricted to law enforcement agencies that pay BWC premiums and have policies in good standing. Law enforcement agencies can find more information and apply for the program through the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway (OHLEG).
The map of recipient agencies is available at www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/BodyArmorGrants.