TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama State Fraternal Order of Police awarded Tuskegee Police Department a gr ant to supply 10 bulletproof vests.
The vests cost around $600 individually, the gr ant adds up to $6,000.
The technology that creates the bulletproof vests has improved immensely over time in weight and wearability, which is a welcomed feature in warmer climates like Alabama.
"They've become lighter and easier to use while still being able to withstand the rounds used by criminal elements today," stated Everette Johnson, President of the Alabama State Fraternal Order of Police, the gr anting organization.
Johnson said they chose Tuskegee Police Department based on need. So far the FOP has awarded around 20 vests to various departments in Alabama.
"Violence against law enforcement has increased," Johnson explained. "Having this tool with this protection is very important."
New Tuskegee Police Chief Marquez James applauded the FOP for selecting Tuskegee as a recipient.
"People need to understand, this is a dangerous profession," James stated. "The officers must protect themselves."
James says this gr ant will go a long way to equipping his officers and will use the police department's budget to fund the remainder of the vests.
"This provides about 85 percent coverage for the officers," he stated.
Officer Quincey Kitt said gr ants like this go a long way to raising morale in small departments like Tuskegee, where they still encounter everyday dangers like other larger departments.
"You never know what's going to happen," Kitt explained. "If I forget to put it on, I go home and put it on because if you stop someone for a traffic ticket it might turn out worse."
The vests will be custom fit, which is a feature few officers have experienced.