BENTLEYVILLE — The village police department will have new vests in service before the end of the year, according to Chief Gabe Barone, Jr.

During their regular meeting on Aug. 18, Village Council approved a $20,984 expenditure for the purchase of the new vests. The village will receive a 75-percent reimbursement for the purchase thanks to a state grant from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Chief Barone explained that the lifeline of police vests is five years and that come January or February of 2022, the village will reach the five years of the current vests they have in service.

Typically, the OBWC grant is a 50-50 split where the municipality would pay half of the cost for the new vests, but this year the bureau had an excess of funds and opted to support 75 percent of the funding of vest replacements for Ohio officers, the cheif said.

With the total price being more than $20,000 for the replacement, Chief Barone said the village will only pay about $5,400. The village will not pay for the vests until they arrive, he said, noting they were ordered earlier this month and should arrive within about two months, “maybe a little more.

“We hope to get them in service by maybe November or December, so we’ll be within probably a couple of months of our full five years,” he said of the current vests’ lifeline.

He said the police department doesn’t want the new vests in service after the five-year mark of their current vests for liability reasons but also doesn’t want to replace the current vests too soon as they are still useful.

“We try to line them up as best we can,” he said. “I think we hit the mark pretty good on this.”

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