The Navarro County Sheriff’s Office recently qualified to receive $96,000 in funding over the next four years to fund the purchase of life saving body armor for patrol officers.

The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant is funded through the U.S. Department of Justice. This program is a 50/50 matching grant program.

The Sheriff’s Office has been a part of the grant project since 2002. The only year since 2002 that the Sheriff’s office did not participate was in 2005.

Typical vests worn by Navarro County Sheriff's deputies costs $750 each.

Under the grant, taxpayers are spared the full cost of the vests and only wind up paying half.

Eleven deputies received their vests earlier this week.

“They are pretty good,” Sgt. Johnny Lake said. “I’m still breaking it in though!”

The Sheriff’s purchased 11 vests this fiscal year with the 50/50 match. Each vest is projected to last for five years.

Capt. Brett Latta was thrilled with the grant partnership with Navarro County.

“This is a big boost for us,” Latta said.

The vests themselves will protect deputies from handgun blasts, knives and absorbs the brunt of any physical blows, Latta said.

Legacy Flex is the manufacturer of the vests and Latta said that the new materials make the vests more comfortable for the deputies.

“It is not only a more comfortable vest, it also is a lot cooler than some of the previous one’s we have used,” Latta said.

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AJ Narasimhan can be reached via e-mail at ajn@corsicanadailysun.com

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