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Monday, May 20, 2024

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County Law Enforcement Agencies Receive Body Armor Grants

By Herald Staff

TRENTON – Attorney General Anne Milgram and Criminal Justice Director Deborah Gramiccioni Monday, Nov. 24 announced that the Division of Criminal Justice is distributing $4 million to more than 500 state law enforcement agencies to purchase or replace body armor vests for their officers.
Of that total, police forces in Cape May County will split nearly $50,000 distributed as follows:
• Avalon, $2,045.29
• Wildwood Crest, $2,045.29
• Prosecutor’s Office, $3,300.84
• Sheriff’s Office, $12,186.26
• Cape May, $2,238.45
• Wildwood, $4,459.81
• Lower Township, $4,459.81
• Middle Township, $5,039.29
• North Wildwood, $2,914.52
• Ocean City, $6,198.26
• Sea Isle City, $2,045.29
• Stone Harbor, $1,658.97
• West Wildwood, $789.74
According to a release, a total of $4,095,934 is being provided to state, county and local law enforcement and corrections agencies from the state’s Body Armor Replacement Fund, which was established by legislation in 1998 and is funded through a $1 surcharge on traffic tickets and forfeitures of bail.
Checks for the 2008 round of annual funding were mailed to the participating agencies late last week. Grants were provided to all 545 agencies that applied, the release stated.
“Police officers put their lives on the line every day when they report to duty,” said Milgram. “We want to make them safer by ensuring that every officer wears a bullet-resistant vest that meets performance standards.”
“We’re pleased to be able to provide millions of dollars each year so that the officers who protect the people of New Jersey can have life-saving body armor vests,” Gramiccioni said. “The $4 million that we’re awarding this year brings to $40 million the total grants awarded in the 11 years that this funding program has been in place.”
The cost of body armor varies, but the minimum grant amount is $500.
The state has a multi-vendor contract with distributors that enables law enforcement agencies to purchase the make and model of vest that best meets their needs. As a condition of the state grant, agencies must purchase vests from a list of vests certified by the National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Justice. There are hundreds of approved vests on the list.

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