JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A federal grant is helping deputies at the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office be better suited for the job.
Through the Justice Assistance Grant is also known as JAG, the sheriff’s office will be able to purchase new bulletproof vests and replace old ones.
But before that happened, Sheriff Hans Miller stood in front of the Onslow County Board of Commissioners Monday evening. He asked commissioners to move the grant funds from the hands of the county into the sheriff’s office budget. Commissioners then approved the motion.
The agency received $12,088 to purchase the bulletproof vests or as Miller calls it, body armor. He calls the survival tool essential for his deputies.
“Body armor or ballistic vests allows them to do, is it gives them an added layer of protection. and that is important when it comes to human beings that provide that service to our citizens,” said Miller.
For instance, in September, a standoff in the Richlands area led to an individual firing shots at law enforcement. Deputies returned fire, killing the suspect.
Bruce Dixon, Captain at the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office explains how vital the vests are.
“There are many law enforcement officers that are alive or working today the law enforcement field for the sheer fact that the ballistic protection or body armor did indeed stop that round,” said Dixon.
According to the agency, vests need to be replaced every five years. Miller emphasized the purchase will benefit officers and avoids spending taxpayer money.
“We got the money into the county without the necessary expenditures of local money,” said Miller.
The agency plans to look into different brands and styles of vests until a purchase is made. Once bought, the old vests will be used for training purposes.