HELENA – The Lewis and Clark County Commission unanimously approved accepting a $4,033.11 grant on Tuesday for the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

The funds are provided by the Department of Justice and will be used to the purchase bulletproof vests for sworn in deputies.

The grant covers half the funds needed to supply the department with the new vests.

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Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Finance Coordinator Tammy Potter said the vests are a vital piece of safety equipment that needs to be replaced regularly.

“Our deputies are required to wear the bulletproof vests,” said Potter, “They have a life cycle of five years and then they have an expiration date so we do have to rotate them out at that point.”

The sheriff’s department said the vests are fitted to the individual deputy and so new ones are needed when a new deputy is hired.

If a new deputy does fit an already existing and functional vest the department will try to reuse it when possible.