Derry Police Receive Federal Grant for Body Armor

The Derry Town Council has unanimously approved the acceptance of funds from the United States Department of Justice to allow Police Chief Ed Garone to replace aging body armor and outfit new recruits.

Garone spoke at the Oct. 15 Council meeting to discuss the grant.
Garone wrote in a memo that the department received notification from the Department of Justice (DOJ) that it was eligible for the grant under the Fiscal Year 2013 Bulletproof Vest program. The grants are administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).
Garone said the department has participated in the program for several years.
The grant is available until Aug. 31, 2015 and would be for $2,762.50, or half the cost of 13 bulletproof vests. The BJA will reimburse the department for 50 percent of each vest after the purchase is made.
The funds may be used for National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-compliant armored vests.
Garone wrote in a memo that the acceptance of the grant would have minimal impact on the budget, as the purchase and grant revenue are part of his current operating budget.
Councilor Mark Osborne asked Garone if the vests were in addition to ones currently in use, or if they were expected to replace current units.
Garone said the vests have a five-year life span, after which they are retired. In addition, he said, each new recruit receives his or her own vest, because they are tailored to an individual’s body. “We will not buy them and put them on a shelf,” he said.
Councilor Tom Cardon asked how often the units are worn.
“Every officer on patrol, every day,” Garone said.
The Council voted 7-0 to approve the purchase.