State grants for body armor should be pursued

Body armor capable of stopping a bullet can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousand. That makes it tough for small local governments to afford the equipment.

Ohio officials have announced an additional $1 million in grants to help localities purchase body armor for police officers and sheriff’s deputies. As much as $40,000, with a local match of 25 percent, can be obtained.

Some law enforcement agencies in our area already provide body armor for personnel. All of them should.

Local officials who have not been in a position to make the purchase in the past should look into the state grants. And those in a position to help them meet the match amount should be in touch.

When it is possible, money for protective gear ought to be built into local government budgets in the same way funds for cars, weapons and other equipment for law enforcement personnel is handled.

We buy guns for police officers and sheriff’s deputies. We provide them with cruisers, communications gear, firearms and non-lethal weapons, even handcuffs. These men and women put themselves in harm’s way to serve the rest of us every day.

Protective equipment that could save their lives should be added to the list.

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