NEW LEXINGTON — The life and work of a law enforcement first responder can be a treacherous and precarious job. As part of a state program, three law enforcement agencies in Perry County received funding in order to purchase body armor. Additionally, the program funded more than 60 local police agencies in the State of Ohio.

Grants have been in the process of being awarded for 2019. From August through November, the Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor Program funding has reached 63 agencies and totaled $345,837. Eligibility for the body armor program is restricted to agencies that pay the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation premiums as well as having policies that are in good standing.

The Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and his department has awarded more than $345,000 in grants for local law enforcement agencies to be able to purchase body armor for officers.

The program under the Ohio Attorney General’s office is titled Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor Program. The project started in the fiscal year of 2018 and is administered by the Ohio Attorney General’s office. Since its beginning, the body armor grant program has awarded funding of over $3.9 million to 426 law enforcement entities in the state.

Funding for the Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor Program is provided by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, which is a part of the Safety Intervention Grant Program. Law enforcement entities have the opportunity to be awarded up to $40,000 with local matches up to 25 percent.

In Perry County, three law enforcement agencies were awarded grants for the body armor program. The total grant funding for the county amounted to $18,723 for the three agencies.

Those included in the grant funding were The New Lexington Police Department, the Corning Police Department and the Perry County Sheriff’s Office. The New Lexington Police Department was given a total of $7,689. The Corning Police Department was awarded $1,536 in grant funding. Finally, the Perry County Sheriff’s Office was provided $9,498 for the body armor program.

New Lexington Police Chief Scott Ervin stated that his agency applied for the grant in May of this year. The department purchase around $10,000 worth of body armor for all officers and is still waiting to receive the important equipment.

The Corning Police Department and the Perry County Sheriff’s Office were contacted for a comment on the grant awards, but has not returned any phone calls.

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