Making a wise investment

Published 12:11 pm Thursday, August 3, 2017

As anyone who follows local government reporting can tell you, many small villages are cash-strapped in our region. Unfortunately, that means funding for vital services sometimes is not at levels it needs to be.

In the case of police departments, this can mean having to cut costs by forgoing newer cruisers and equipment and having to raise donations for the tools officers need.

But, as the first on the scene in dangerous situations, this can mean a difference between life and death.

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The Bulletproof Vest Partnership, created by a grant act in 1998, is a U.S. Department of Justice initiative designed to provide a critical resource to state and local law enforcement agencies. Since 1999, the program has awarded a total of $430 million in federal funds for the purchase of over one million vests.

This week, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, announced has approved $22.5 million in grant funding for the program in the Fiscal Year 2018 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill.

The bill was approved by a 30-1 vote, marking a bipartisan victory in Brown’s effort, and is now headed to the full Senate for consideration.

Brown worked with state and federal groups, including the Ohio Fraternal order of Police and the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association, in securing the funds.

We applaud the senator for his efforts in steering funds into a much-needed investment in the safety of officers nationwide.