Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday visited the Dallas Police Association to announce Texas will be providing $23 million in grant funding for rifle-resistant vests to police departments across the state.
During the 85th Legislative Session, Abbott signed Senate Bill 12, authored by Sen. Royce West and Rep. Phil King, which created funding for the grant program to provide personal body armor to law enforcement agencies throughout Texas.
Among the cities and jurisdictions receiving grant funding for the vests, Gregg County was allocated $32,400 to fund 72 vests. Local departments such as Kilgore and Longview received no funding – officers here were previously equipped through “Back the Blue” efforts, such as East Texas Blue’s successful fundraising, and other funding sources.
Rusk County Sheriff’s Office has applied for grant funding for additional rifle resistant vests, Sgt. David Roberts confirmed Tuesday, but has not yet been allocated any funds.
During the announcement, held on Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, Abbott expressed his appreciation to all officers who protect and serve communities across the Lone Star State.
“My top priority as governor is to keep our communities safe, and I thank the law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line everyday to make that possible,” Abbott said. “The job of our law enforcement community is becoming more difficult as the threats our officers face continue to increase.
“The State of Texas will not sit idly by and tolerate these actions against officers who are simply doing their job to uphold the law and protect the people of Texas. That is why I’m proud to present these grants to police departments across Texas so they can equip their officers with the life-saving equipment they deserve.”
The $23 million in grants announced Tuesday will provide law enforcement officers from 453 different jurisdictions around the state with a total of 32,842 rifle-resistant vests designed to protect against high caliber rounds.
A full breakdown of cities and jurisdictions that will receive grant funding for the rifle-resistant vests is available online via tinyurl.com/vestfunding.
– with additional reporting by KNH