The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded the Brookhaven Police Department an $11,117.63 grant for bulletproof vests, according to a press release from the Brookhaven Police Department.

The money will be used to reimburse the City of Brookhaven for body armor vests purchased throughout the year. The federal grant covers about half of the police department’s total cost for the vests.

“Safety is our number one priority,” Police Chief Gary Yandura said in the release. “These vests are part of our uniform and essential to our police operations. This grant helps us not only stay safe, but be fiscally responsible with Brookhaven’s tax dollars.”

To be eligible for the funds, police departments must have a policy requiring officers to wear vests, as well as a mission that focuses on safety and training.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bulletproof Vest Partnership has purchased more than 1.1 million vests for more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies since the program’s 1999 inception. According to the Justice Department, at least 33 officers’ lives were saved nationally in fiscal year 2012 because of protective vests. This was a 13.7 percent increase compared to 2011.

For more information about the Bulletproof Vest Partnership, visit www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bvpbasi/.

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