Connellsville, PA Police to be Fitted with Bulletproof Vests

From The Tribune Review by Mark Hofmann, August 21, 2014

The Connellsville Police Department has been approved for the purchase of customized bulletproof vests through a grant and the generosity of the city it serves and protects.

Connellsville Mayor Greg Lincoln announced this week that the United States Department of Justice approved the city’s application on July 28 for a 50 percent matching grant of approximately $5,000 for the purchase of 15 bulletproof vests for the police department.

Each vest costs between $800 and $900.

“We’re very excited for that,” Lincoln said, adding that the city was able to raise $10,000 to get the nearly $5,000 from the federal government.

It was up to the police department to raise funds to purchase the vests.

Police announced in March they were seeking donations to raise the matching funds.

“We express deep gratitude to all the organizations, businesses and individuals who made donations for us to get the matching funds,” Connellsville Police Chief Jim Capitos said. “We couldn’t do it without those donations.”

Lincoln said police officers should be fitted for the vests sometime next week and should receive their new vests within six to eight weeks. Capitos said the big donations as well as the smaller donations were all deeply appreciated, especially those smaller donations from individuals just wanting to help the police department.

“It just goes to show you that there are people out there who have a heart,” Capitos said, adding how refreshing it was to see the outpouring of good will in a job where those involved see many bad things and often turn cynical about people. “I can’t say enough how thankful we are for everyone who donated.”

The Bulletproof Vest Partnership through the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Program has reimbursed more than 13,000 jurisdictions, a total of $288 million in federal funds for the purchase of more than 1 million vests since 1999, according to the OJP website.

“People were so generous with what they donated (for us) to get that top-of-the-line equipment,” Capitos said.

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