Agents who don’t have up to date vests have been fitted and new ones have been ordered, Tierney said. Each vest costs $950.
Internal BCI emails among agents over the past several months show concern about the expired vests possibly putting officers in harm’s way.
DeWine, who is the GOP nominee for governor, put out a press release Tuesday announcing the new program with the BWC to offer grants of up to $40,000 to purchase body armor for on-duty officers. The program would require a local match of 25 percent.
“This new program will help our first responders get the latest body armor, helping to protect them while they do the important work of keeping their communities safe,” DeWine said in a written statement.
Ohio FOP President Gary Wolske said in a written statement that the union’s “members are dismayed at Attorney General DeWine’s politicization of our officeers’ safety. DeWine Allowed more than 50 of his own agents to wear expired Kevlar vests – some of them for more than seven years. Now that this has become a political problem for his campaign, he’s trying to take action for something that has been a safety issue for years.”