Kinston City Council approves funding for ballistic vest program

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The U.S. Department of Justice is joining the fight to help protect our officers in the east. It’s all with the help of the department’s justice ballistic vest program.

2012 is the year Kinston’s City Council made it their mission to protect those that put themselves in the line of danger every day.

Since then, those vests continue to protect the city’s officers.

They may be small but the cities new vests pack a huge punch, even to Sergeant Scott Jackson who oversees the departments equipment.

“I feel like it’s a very important piece of equipment that our officers should be wearing with the climate that we’re dealing with,” said Jackson. “All of our vests are designed to tailor the individual officer that’s wearing them.”

For the past few years, Jackson has made sure Kinston’s finest were prepared.

“Some people have been very grateful that they had a vest on for ones that have been involved in a shooting situation,” said Jackson.

In those shooting situations, it’s important to have the U.S Department of Justice on your side.

“The grant that we apply for it’s a yearly grant, so it allows us to replace those vests every four to five years,” said Jackson. “Depending on the condition of the vests, if a vest needs to be replaced sooner than that five-year mark we are allowed to replace them at four.”

It doesn’t hurt to have city leaders, like Mayor Don Hardy on your side either.

“It’s a vital part of the law enforcer officers equipment,” said Mayor Hardy. “Officers go out here every day and risk their lives for the citizens of Kinston and surrounding counties.”

In tonight’s meeting, the council voted to make sure the police department stays ready. The City of Kinston will match the $5,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

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