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Yost awards over $325K in body armor grants to local police

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP): Ohio’s top law enforcer said he has sent more than $325,000 in grants for new body armor to local police departments over the past three months.

The money went to some 60 police departments through the Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor Program, Republican Attorney General Dave Yost said recently.

The program was launched in August 2018 by then-Attorney General Mike DeWine after The Associated Press reported more than 50 Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents were wearing expired bulletproof vests despite pleas to management to get the vests replaced.

DeWine, a Republican, was a candidate for governor at the time and was elected to that post in November of last year.

Yost said helping protect officers is a way of thanking them for putting their lives at risk, although he pointed out that the vests “are not cheap” and cannot be replaced all at once.

Participating agencies can receive up to $40,000 to purchase body armor vests with a local match of 25%. Eligible departments must pay Bureau of Workers’ Compensation premiums and have policies in good standing.

An interactive map on the attorney general’s website allows the public to explore which agencies are participating and their grant amounts.

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