NPD taking shot at bulletproof vests

Published 12:01am Monday, May 20, 2013

NATCHEZ — The Natchez Police Department is taking a shot at $30,000 that could help its officers be a little more bulletproof.

NPD, with the assistance of Community Development Director James Johnston, is applying for a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bulletproof Vest Partnership to purchase 45 vests.

The grant requires a 50-percent cost match, which Chief Danny White said is in the department’s budget.

Capt. Tom McGehee said some vests have been periodically purchased, but it has been since 2006 since all the officers received new vests.

The vests may not be the only new equipment NPD receives, as Mayor Butch Brown said he is still working with a private donor to purchase two Segways for downtown patrol. Segways are two-wheeled self-balancing battery-powered vehicles.

Brown has said that when he was previously mayor, NPD had downtown bicycle patrol that made downtown patrons feel safer. Two officers on Segways would serve the same purpose.

Brown declined to name the private donor, but said it was a local business.

Last year, Brown made a similar announcement regarding laptop computers for NPD patrol cars. Those were supplied by Magnolia Bluffs Casino.

White also said the department will be getting a new K-9 dog in the next few weeks.

The officer assigned the dog will be picking it up in Tulsa, Okla., where it is being trained, soon. The officer and the dog will bond and then return to Tulsa for more training, White said.

The dog costs approximately $9,500, White said.