ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dougherty County Law enforcement officers are sporting some new bulletproof vests, and after recent national attacks on police officers, these new pieces of protective equipment come at just the right time.
The Dougherty County Sheriff's Office and Dougherty County Police have their new bulletproof vests for all their officers and deputies. Their old vests shelf life had expired.
"The vest itself, over time, breaks down. The Kevlar breaks down, so that's why we have a shelf life," Dougherty Co. Sheriff's Captain Craig Dodd said.
And the officers feel better knowing they are wearing up to date safety equipment.
"It's unfortunate our officers have to wear things like this, but we live in a society today where we have to think about our protection," DCP Captain Thomas Jackson said.
The Bulletproof Vest Partnership grant with the Justice Department paid for half the cost of the bulletproof vests, and inmates at Pulaski Correctional Institute make the carriers specially fitted for each officer. And the officers say they are a big improvement to wear, especially in South Georgia where heat is a huge factor.
"These particular vests, they are lightweight, they are comfortable," Dodd said.
But even more importantly, the technology of the protection for the officer has also improved. "Vests is one thing officers equipment that, could potentially save their life, in some kind of situation. So it's very important that we equip our officers with them, and make sure they are available to them," Jackson said.
The new vests weigh about 15 pounds, but are rated to stop most pistol bullets.
After the justice department grants, each bulletproof vest will cost the county about $300. A small price to pay to protect an officer, hoping their effectiveness never is tested.