Police department awarded grant for bulletproof vests
The Basehor Police Department is one of several area law enforcement agencies eligible to receive federal funds to purchase bullet restraint vests as part of the 2003 Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program.
The grant means the police department is eligible to receive $4,283, which requires matching funds, to purchase 13 new bulletproof vests. Other area police departments receiving these funds include the city of Leavenworth, Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department, the city of Lansing and the city of Edwardsville.
The Basehor Police Department last received grant money for bulletproof vests in 1999. The average life span of the vests is five years, Basehor police chief Vince Weston said.
"They usually need replaced at that time," Weston said.
In Basehor, there are bulletproof vests on hand for every officer.
"It's department policy for the officer on patrol to wear them," Weston said. "It's been proven these vests do work and they save lives."
Weston said new vests would be purchased as needed.
Although there hasn't been a shooting involving a Basehor police officer in recent memory, Weston said the vests are precautionary for the city's officers in dealing with a growing population and transients coming in and out of Basehor.
"There's a lot of activity in and around the city at times," Weston said. "You can't say any police department is prone to get shot at but (the vests) are a necessary precaution."
As part of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program, smaller municipalities with populations under 100,000 receive priority funding. Funding for these smaller jurisdictions totaled $59 million nationwide this year.
In Kansas, $350,000 has been allocated for 1,141 vests for more than 100 cities and counties.