BLANCHESTER — Blanchester police officers are now safer as the department recently received eight new ballistic vests.
The Blanchester Police Department issues ballistic vests to all of its officers, and has done so for decades, according to Chief Scott Reinbolt. He said the vests — which provide a measure of protection from gun shots and knife strikes — are custom-fitted to each officer and are expensive, costing anywhere between $500 and $1,000 each.
“Due to the expense of purchasing new vests, and in light of the reduced police department budget, for years now we have re-issued old vests to new officers as a cost-saving measure,” Reinbolt said. “In February I inventoried the vests currently in use, and found that all were no longer under warranty, many were in ragged condition, and most fit poorly.
“I then asked the other Trustees of the Citizens for Adequate Policing Trust Fund to consider paying for the purchase of new vests for each police officer, and that request was approved unanimously.”
He said a sales representative from a Dayton company came to Blanchester, measured each officer for fit, and an order was placed for eight new protective vests.
The new vests, which are 100-percent American made, were received two weeks ago and are now all in use, said Reinbolt.
“The total cost was $4,792, all of which was paid from the Citizens for Adequate Policing Trust Fund,” he said. “There is no way we could have afforded this important equipment without the Trust Fund, due to repeated cuts to the police department budget over the past five years.
“The officers are grateful, and I’m sure their families are equally appreciative.”