Kent State, Kent city police to receive body armor grants


Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, right, greets a voter outside the Green Township Senior Center, a voting precinct, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Cincinnati, Ohio. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Ella Abbott

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced $2.7 million in grants for local law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

“Law enforcement happens at the local level,” Yost said in a press release on Tuesday. “Seeing that these grants are being used in every corner of our state helps me rest easier at night knowing that our peace officers are better equipped to return home safely to their loved ones at the conclusion of each shift.”

The attorney general’s office has administered the Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor Program since 2018. More than 300 law enforcement agencies participate, including Kent State University Police Services and the Kent Police Department.

The grants are funded by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and each organization can be awarded a grant up to $40,000. An interactive map on the attorney general’s website lets users see how much each participant will receive from the program.

Kent State police are set to receive $19,470.75, and the Kent city police will receive $4,068.75, which is what each department applied for, said Dave O’Neil, the senior public information office for the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine first introduced the program because of expired vests. In 2018, it was estimated that 50 Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents were wearing expired vests in the line of duty.

Vests meet the standards set by the National Institute of Justice, and agencies are required to have a mandatory-wear policy for uniformed officers on duty, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

All eligible law enforcement agencies will be able to apply for the program until the end of June.

Ella Abbott is a senior reporter. Contact her at [email protected].