APD, 23 other agencies in the Big Country will get rifle-resistant vests

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Twenty-four agencies in the Big Country, including the City of Abilene, are receiving funding for some new life-saving gear.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced the grants, which will give $23 million for law enforcement agencies across the state to purchase rifle-resistant vests for officers.

However, it could take several months for police departments to get them.

Sgt. Lynn Beard with the Abilene Police Department said the grant is beneficial for the department and that it could help save the lives of officers.

Beard said patrol officers wear a ballistic vest under their uniform, but that type of armor can only stop up to a certain caliber of ammunition.

“Over the weekend … we had offices confronting an armed subject that was firing a weapon, and so as the threats to officers increase, the more protection we can provide them on the street, the safer they're going to be and that's what we want," Beard said.

Agencies in the Big Country will receive about $400,000 to purchase nearly 700 vests.

APD is getting $64,000 and Beard said that'll buy about 117 vests.

Currently, 132 of the APD’s 198 officers have rifle-resistant vests, Beard said.

Some of the other places in the Big Country receiving funding are Taylor County, the cities of Brownwood, San Angelo and Sweetwater, and Brown and Tom Green counties.

See the full list:

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