Ky. detention center receiving grant for ballistic vests

The grant will fund vests for deputies working with or around inmates

James Mayse

DAVIESS COUNTY, Ky. —The Daviess County Detention Center has been awarded funds to purchase ballistic vests for deputy jailers through a grant from the Kentucky Department of Homeland Security.

Jailer Art Magliner said the grant, which is for about $41,000, will allow the jail to purchase the ballistic vests. The funds come from the federal Law Enforcement Protection Program grant, which is administered by the state Homeland Security department.

“We have around 70 full-time deputies,” Maglinger said Thursday. “We are seeking vests for all the full-time deputies.”

Fiscal Court is required to approve the funds, but no local dollars are required to match the grant, Maglinger said.

“As far as I know, dating back to the history (of the jail) they didn’t have vests here,” he said.

The vests would be worn by deputies who work around inmates in the jail, including members of the administrative staff, and would be available for the jail’s emergency response team.

Deputy jailers would also wear vests outside the jail when transporting prisoners to court hearings or when guarding an inmate undergoing medical treatment at Owensboro Health.

“Our transports have increased,” Maglinger said. “... We just want to give our deputies the best protection for whatever they encounter.”

All of the vests might not be purchased this year because the grant could be disbursed over two fiscal years, Maglinger said.

“We’re hoping to get 70 (this fiscal year) … but we don’t know what to expect,” he said. “They said it could be up to two budget cycles.”

The vests are needed because an inmate being transported to a court date could attempt to escape and because deputy jailers sometimes encounter improvised weapons among inmates.

“We want to equip the deputies for what they encounter inside and outside the walls,” Maglinger said.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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