Vineland, Millville and Franklin Township police are among 500 law enforcement agencies that will share grants from the state Division of Criminal Justice for body armor replacement this year. Since the program began in 1998, the Division has provided nearly $32 million to New Jersey police departments for purchase and replacement of bulletproof vests. This year’s allocation is $4.5 million.
Funds for body armor
Millville police will receive $8,660. That translates into 13 replacement vests, according to Capt. Ed Grennon.
“Usually the grant covers the total cost of replacement vests for the year,” Grennon said. “But this year, we plan to hire 10 additional officers so we may have to come up with some funding of our own next year to fill the gap.”
All new law enforcement officers are provided with bulletproof vests that are required to be replaced every five years. We go by the body armor manufacturer‘s five-year recommendation for replacement, said Capt. Rudy Beu of Vineland police. Vineland’s share of the grant is $16,821.
Franklin Township will receive $3,111 that Chief Michael DiGiorgio said would buy 5 new bullet proof vests.
“They run about $600 each,” DiGiorgio said. “We’re thankful for these funds for body armor because we have a mandatory wear policy, and after five years, they need to be replaced.”
Millville also requires officers to wear vests whenever they are on duty.
Vineland’s policy is an officer’s choice.
“Except in certain operations, where we require them to wear body armor,” Beu said.