Funding for bullet-resistant vests sought for NPD

Published 11:51 pm Thursday, June 15, 2017


NATCHEZ —City of Natchez officials are hopeful a federal grant application submitted Wednesday will provide funds for up to 12 bullet-resistant vests for Natchez police officers.

Natchez Community Development Director James Johnston said the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bulletproof Vest Partnership program would cover half of the estimated $8,164 total cost for the vests.

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Natchez Police Department Capt. Tom McGehee said the vests are needed for new officers that the force will add in the future.

“This year alone, I lost seven police officers; last year I lost 16,” McGehee said. “I have to replace those officers, which means I need new vests.”

McGehee also said all police officers are required to wear a bulletproof vest.

Johnston explained why new officers need new vests.

“Each vest is individually fitted for each officer,” Johnston said.

The board of aldermen approved Tuesday the request to prepare and submit the application for the grant.

Johnston estimated that it would be several months before a funding decision is made.

The partnership has provided more than 1 million vests to more than 13,000 jurisdictions since 1999, federal records indicate.