The men and women on the Tallassee Police Department force will soon be safer thanks a grant from the United States Department of Defense that will fund a new bulletproof vest.

“The U.S. Department of Justice has a Bureau of Justice Assistance that awards federal money to local law enforcement departments to assist with the purchase of ballistic vests,” Tallassee police chief Matt Higgins said. “We apply based on our departments size and the number of vests we think we will need during the award period.”

These funds will pay for half of each vest purchased and, with the current cost of ballistic vests ranging in cost from $600 to 800, the savings will quickly add up.

While the grant funding will help offset the cost of the vest, it is essential to replace them on a regular basis because they expire every five years.

“This grant helps us to replace these vest as well as purchase new ones for new officers,” Higgins said. “We strive to find every avenue available to keep cost down for the city while still getting much-needed equipment. A vest is a must have piece of equipment for all of our officers.”