DERRY — Police officers on patrol in town will be better protected because of a U.S. Department of Justice grant that will help fund the purchase of replacement bulletproof vests.
Town councilors voted last week to accept the personal body armor funding of $2,762.50 that will pay for half the cost of 13 vests. Derry Police Chief Ed Garone said every patrolman in Derry is required to wear a vest and that he also occasionally wears one.
Bulletproof vests need to be replaced about every five years, said Derry Police Capt. George Feole.
“So, anticipating our needs over the next several years, we were able to predict the number of replacement vests we will need to purchase, Feole said. “The grant authorizes reimbursement by the U.S. Department of Justice for costs up to 50 percent of the purchase price.”
The department received the award under the Department of Justice’s Bulletproof Vest Partnership program. The town has participated in the program for a number of years, according to town staff.
The award may be used for National Institute of Justice compliant armored vests.
The funds can be used until August 31, 2015, according to town staff.
The department also recently received an award for the purchase of portable radios from the state. Feole said the radios will be used to replace existing radios.
Under the grant, the Derry Police Department will receive three Motorola APX radios, including carrying cases, batteries and microphones. The radios and equipment are valued at $10,613.52. Programming of the radios at an authorized shop is also included in the cost.
“The radios being made available by the state are newer models than we have been using,” Feole said, adding that the newer radios have greater capabilities and interoperability than the department’s older equipment.