By MARK TODD



Staff Writer

mtodd@starbeacon.com



CONNEAUT - - Police officers in Conneaut soon will be performing their duties wrapped in new bulletproof vests, officials said.

The city recently learned it had been awarded $6,600 for the purchase of protective vests via a program offered through the U.S. Department of Justice. Depending on the final cost of vests, the money could outfit most of the officers with state-of-the-art garments, said Lt. Robert Zimmerman. "It will be quite an improvement," he said.

Conneaut has received confirmation of the grant, but the funds have not been delivered yet, said Finance Director John Williams. Zimmerman, acting chief while Jon Arcaro is on medical leave, said he was unsure when the grant will arrive and when it can be spent.

The grant was the first of its kind for the city and police department, Williams said.

Bulletproof Vest Partnership was created in 1998 "to provide a critical resource to state and local law enforcement," according to a Department of Justice statement. Since 1999, more than 11,900 law-enforcement agencies have received $173 million in federal funds through the program, according to the statement.

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