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Bill requires body armor for WV police departments

Though it's a practice most agencies follow, it is now required by law for departments to supply ballistic vests


By Tyler Reyanrd
Weirton Daily Times

ROANE COUNTY, W.Va. — Northern Panhandle sheriff's departments voiced approval of recently enacted legislation requiring departments statewide to provide deputies with bullet-resistant vests, a practice all six local offices have been in step with for years.

Roane County Sheriff's Deputy John Westfall was wearing body armor in August when he was shot by a man who earlier killed two West Virginia State Police troopers. The suspect was killed. Westfall borrowed the vest from the Spencer Police Department, where he also was employed as an officer.

Vests have a shelf life and must be replaced about every five years, which raised funding concerns for sheriff's departments in smaller counties. The law encourages sheriffs and county commissions to seek federal funding for the vests, which local law enforcement seconded.

Full Story: Sheriff's offices applaud body armor law

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