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Washington County Sheriff's Office gets nearly $6,000 for body armor

Office has applied for matching funds from the U.S. Department of Justice

July 25, 2012|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office will get a share of a $49,051 state grant to purchase body armor.

Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Carly Hose said the department received a $5,736 portion of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention grant to help purchase 20 bulletproof vests.

The money was awarded earlier this month.

“We’re obviously concerned about the safety of our officers,” Hose said. “A lot of these incidents have become more violent.”

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reports that 66 officers were killed by gunfire from July 24, 2011, to that date in 2012.

Hose said the state grant won’t be enough to cover the $11,472 purchase price for the 20 Kevlar vests. As a result, the sheriff’s office has applied for matching funds from theU.S. Department of Justice.

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Department policy requires that body armor be replaced every five years so the more than 90 sworn deputies have state-of-the-art protection, Hose said.

The FBI reported in 2010 that an officer’s risk of sustaining a fatal injury is 14 times greater for those who do not wear body armor.

The sheriff’s office was among 20 police and sheriff’s departments in 14 Maryland counties to receive funding from the state grant to help purchase new or to replace old body armor, according to the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. Of those departments, only the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office received more the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office was awarded $6,380.

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