The Dallas City Council approved a resolution to apply for and accept a special state grant for rifle-rated bulletproof armor for members of the Dallas Police Department during its last meeting of the year on December 14.
The move permits the city to seek the state-issued taxpayer-funded Rifle Resistant Body Armor Grant for this armor up to $762,049.50.
The armor grant program began in 2017 with Gov. Greg Abbott announcing that the Office of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division (CJD) would accept applications from law enforcement agencies requesting rifle-resistant armor. It was anticipated at the time that roughly $25 million would be spent on the project.
Each of these vests must be personally fitted to an officer and comply with the National Institute of Justice standard for type Ill (rifles) or type IV (armor piercing rifle) body armor, which includes bullet-resistant vests, ballistic plates, and plate carriers.
This program was created in the wake of a deadly shooting in 2016 that claimed the lives of five Dallas police officers, with Senator Royce West filing the original legislation. “This incident validated the imperative need for vests and plates to protect officers from higher velocity rounds,” Sergeant Warren Mitchell, a spokesperson for Dallas Police Department, explained.
Dallas City has previously sought funding from this program for its police officers, approving over $937,000 in 2021 to purchase 675 concealable rifle-resistant vests.
This resolution comes as Gov. Abbott announced in November that public safety services and programs across Texas would be able to benefit from $355 million in taxpayer-funded grants for things like providing law enforcement support, victim services, and anti-human trafficking efforts, as reported by The Dallas Express.
Out of that amount, a total of 69 grants, worth around $4.6 million, will be used to provide rifle-resistant body armor to law enforcement officers across the state to prevent casualties during tactical and emergency response operations.