"We wouldn't send an officer out on the street to serve a warrant or make an arrest without providing them with a firearm or a radio, that vest is just as important," said Sheriff's Colonel John Ostrander.
Whether deputies or officers are working in the court house or a rural part of the county. "If there is an opportunity for them to engage in law enforcement action then there is an opportunity for them to get injured as well and its up to us to do everything we can to ensure they have the best tools available to protect themselves," Ostrander said.
But it's a challenge to make sure everyone has one. Today County Commissions approved the purchase of 82 vests for Dougherty County Police and the Sheriff's Office.
But that won't entirely satisfy the need. With people leaving and the vests having 5-year-life-span, Colonel John Ostrander says they're not quite where they need to be yet.
"So each year we are trying to purchase new vests for deputies that don't have them currently issued and purchase replacement vests for deputes whose vests are expiring this year."
Right now they prioritize, so deputies serving warrant have vests, while people who are doing primarily administrative duties don't.
"We would never want to face a spouse or family member of an officer that fell in the line of duty and answer the question why didn't we issue them a vest."
Grant money will help pay for half of the cost of the vests for the sheriff's office.
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