Lubbock law enforcement receives grant for new body armor

Lubbock law enforcement receives grant for new body armor

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On National Law Enforcement Day Gov. Greg Abbott announced state grants to help protect officers. 

The grant was part of a legislative effort commemorating the murders of the "Dallas Five," four Dallas PD and on DART officers ambushed during a rally in 2016.

"We promised that we would make the lives of police officers safer," Gov. Abbott said. "We delivered on that promise."

Legislators approved $23 million to buy body armor capable of stopping high caliber rifle rounds. That grant directly benefits Lubbock officers and deputies. The county will get 40 vests at a cost of more than $16,000. The city will get 375 at a cost of more than $187,000.

"These are going to go primarily to our front line, uniform patrol division, and civil division and several others that are out there doing those types of jobs everyday," said Lubbock Sheriff Kelly Rowe.

Sheriff Rowe said these vests will go a long way to ensuring his deputies go home unharmed when they sign off.

"You want to find every possible means you can to put them in the equipment that can maximize the opportunities to survive a sudden and random attack regardless of what type of weapon used against them," he said.

Lubbock Police Chief Greg Stevens said the gear will do more than just protect his officers.

"It's more than just the officer going home at the end of the day," Stevens said. "We want everyone to go home at the end of the day, from victims, witnesses, but also the people we interact with that are suspected of crimes. So the more we can do to protect ourselves, the less likely we'll have to resort to deadly force."

In total the state is providing more than 32,000 vests to law enforcement. Departments will be able to purchase them as soon as the grant money goes through.

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