City, county receive Homeland Security funds for armor

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By Molly Haines

The Owen County Sheriff’s Department and Owenton City Police recently received a grant to purchase body armor through the Law Enforcement Protection Program, which will help further the safety of local law enforcement.

The Law Enforcement Protection Program, formerly known as the Body Armor Program, enables the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security to provide funds for equipment to law-enforcement agencies across the state.

Owenton City Police Chief Terry Gentry said applying for the grant is a short process and the program will benefit the Owenton Police budget in the future.

“It’s really going to help the budget because you have to purchase the vests every four or five years,” Gentry said. “If we can continue to receive the grant money every few years then we’ll be saving a good bit of money in our budget.”

Owen County Sheriff Zemer Hammond said the grant money would benefit the county.

“Because we received the grant money it will save money in our budget and the taxpayers won’t be out anything,” Hammond said.

The Owenton Police received $1,840 from the grant, which will pay for four vests. The Sheriff’s Department received $2,520, which will go toward five vests.

Hammond said his deputies are required to wear body armor unless they are working in the office.

“My deputies are required to wear the armor under my policy,” Hammond said. “When they go out to serve papers or arrest someone they have to wear it.”

Hammond said the body armor will be beneficial to his deputies.

“It’s really going to benefit us because we’ll be protected and feel safer when we’re out doing our job,” Hammond said.