Ohio BWC pledges $500,000 to help law enforcement purchase body armor

COLUMBUS — Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud, Governor Mike DeWine and Attorney General Dave Yost today announced an additional $500,000 to fund the Attorney General’s Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor Program. This is in addition to the initial $2 million previously announced for Fiscal Year 2019.

“I’m happy that we’re able to continue our support of local law enforcement officers through this program,” said Governor DeWine. “Law enforcement officers put their lives at risk on a daily basis, and these additional funds will outfit even more Ohio officers with body armor to help protect them as they protect their communities.”

The Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor Program was created by Gov. Mike DeWine in August, while he was Attorney General. It allows local law enforcement agencies to receive up to $40,000 per agency to purchase body armor vests with a local match of 25 percent. BWC pledged funding for the program after announcing it would dedicate a portion of its Safety Intervention Grants to prevent injuries and fatalities among law enforcement officers.

“Over the last six months, BWC has committed $2 million to help 250 law enforcement agencies across Ohio,” said McCloud. “The additional $500,000 we are announcing today will help protect even more men and women in law enforcement.”

“Body armor is the cheapest life insurance we ever buy, and we know it works and saves lives,” said Attorney General Dave Yost. “I’ve been to too many law enforcement funerals and hope never to have to attend another. I commend Administrator McCloud and Gov. DeWine for their continuing leadership in this important life-saving investment.”

Interested law enforcement agencies may apply for the program through an application form available through the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway (OHLEG).Applications will be reviewed and awarded on a first-come, first served basis.Vests to be purchased must meet the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) standards, and agencies must demonstrate that they have a mandatory wear policy in place for uniformed officers on duty.

The additional money will become available upon the signing of a memorandum of understanding between BWC and the Attorney General’s Office.

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