Saddle Brook Police Officers will soon receive new body armor, thanks to the New Jersey Body Armor Replacement Fund and the U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act.
"Make no mistake about it, a police officer’s job is very dangerous and you never know what you’re going to come across out there," Chief Robert Kugler said in a press release.
The department has implemented a “mandatory wear policy” of the vests for all officers on work duty, according to Deputy Chief Robert White. They have been replacing vests after five or more years of use, having previously made department-wide purchases in 2000 and 2007 with the same grants.
"As police administrators, our active and primary goal in acquiring this grant funding and participating in the program is to provide each and every officer with the very best personal protection and safety for them and their families," White said in a press release. "And I’m glad we are able to do this through grant funding and at no expense to the township."
The department has cumulative funding of $13,000 from the state grant to purchase new bulletproof vests and the federal grant may cover as much as 50 percent of the vests' cost.
The vests are being purchased from Atlantic Tactical of Somerset at a cost of $900 each. The first round will go to the township's three new officers who are currently attending the police academy.
The New Jersey Body Armor Replacement Fund is run by the state Division of Criminal Justice and is paid for by a $1 surcharge on all motor vehicle violation fines.