BROOKVILLE – The local AMVETS Post 1789 and VFW Post 3288 helped with contributions to enable the Brookville Police Department purchase new outer vests their officers are wearing.
The AMVETS contributed $1,000 and the VFW contributed a total of $1,500, with $500 coming from the post’s men’s and women’s auxiliary as well as $500 from the post itself.
Brookville Chief of Police Doug Jerome said that Major Tom Simon of the department first approached him about getting the vests.
Jerome said he wanted the officers who desired to wear the vests to survey the community about what they felt about them.
Jerome said the report was all but one community member surveyed liked the idea.
“If we were going to do this we were going to do it right, and look sharp,” Jerome said about the purchase.
Jerome said that Simon and Officer Zach Snell, who is the School Resource Officer for the department assigned to the Brookville schools, did their research.
“They did their home work,” Jerome said.
The vests, manufactured by Safariland Armor, go over the officer’s uniform, and hold the necessary gear that used to fit on a gun belt.
For the officers the vests fit well, are functional and provide the same body protection that vests that went under the uniform did.
Surveying the community, and getting support of the city council was important for Jerome about the vests.
“We wanted to ensure we did not shock the community,” Jerome said. “Our image is extremely important to me.”
The police officers say the new vests feel better, Jerome said, and the officers have a greater range of motion wearing them.
Other departments are wearing similar type vests, Jerome said, adding, “We may serve as models for other departments (considering the purchase.”
The Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor program also made a significant contribution.
Newly promoted Captain Jason Jacobs said the vests are “more comfortable and breathable.
“I have heard lots of compliments on them,” he added.
VFW Commander Paul Griffiths was happy the local post helped with the purchase.
“We, as a VFW Post, are extremely proud that we helped out,” Griffiths said. “We support our police and we have a good police department as well as fire department and city staff.”
Being a veteran of military service himself, Griffiths sees the importance of body armor protection.
“Having been a vet, and I have seen combat, I see the need for them (vests),” said Griffiths.
AMVETS Commander John Childers echoed Griffiths’ comments.
“It is part of our creed to help out veterans and our community,” Childers said.
“We were happy to help out,” he added.