The Corvallis Police Department will be getting some new protective gear.
The department has received a $6,901 grant from the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance that will allow it to purchase 17 new bullet-proof vests.
The Corvallis City Council approved the receipt of the grant at its Feb. 18 meeting.
The new gear will help the department keep up with its replacement schedule, which is built on the fact that vests have a shelf life of five years, said Chief Jon Sassaman.
The force’s 53 sworn officers all wear vests, which cost $750 apiece. The grant will pay for approximately 50 percent of the cost, Sassaman said, with the city picking up the remainder of the cost.
Sassaman said he could not recall a case in his 26 years on the force in which a vest protected an officer in a shooting incident, but he added that the vests have other benefits.
“In addition to ballistic and knife protection (the vest) also protects the officer when suspects are fighting and punching and striking the officer,” Sassaman said.
“As a policy for our department, all officers in uniform will always be wearing the vest for their protection. That’s not negotiable.”
Contact reporter James Day at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.