Elkhart PD secures federal grant, ready for new hires

ELKHART, Ind.- Elkhart’s Police Department just secured a federal grant that will help the department with unexpected costs while simultaneously preparing them for the future.

Elkhart Sergeant Chris Snyder says the money will be used primarily to keep officers safe. According to our reporting partners at the Elkhart Truth the Department of Justice announced Indiana law enforcement agencies would get close to $400,000 to help purchase ballistic vests.

Elkhart got a $6,000 chunk of that and Snyder adds this comes at a great time, especially since they’re looking to hire more officers.

“We’re ten officers short now and if we plan on hiring eight next year, but we hire ten, those two aren’t accounted for so we can utilize funds out of this to help get their ballistic vests and get things like that help offset the cost of hiring someone we weren’t anticipating.”

The Department of Justice has announced that Elkhart’s Police Department will receive $6,389 worth of federal funds.

“It’s a matching grant that we get to help supply our officers with ballistic vests, primarily used for when they expire,” says Snyder.

The left over money is then used to purchase things necessary for the police department. “We get half of that money back and that allow us to utilize that for other things, primarily what we use that for is more vests,” says Snyder. “We budget for a certain amount for the people that we hire each year.”

Ballistic vests expire every five years and can cost several hundred dollars. “Like a SWAT team member, their vest is $1,600 so we get that matching grant, let’s say it’s $6,000 they put that back and that allows us to buy a couple of those vests for them.”

The next step is to calculate just how many Elkhart officers are in need of a new vest in order to stay safe on duty.

“Everyone that’s due for a vest that year get measured, gets fit, we purchase the vest and after we send the invoice in and then they match half up to whatever the amount the grant was,” says Snyder.

The department’s budget just got approved and Snyder says they were able to account for needed equipment.

This extra cash will surely come in handy if the department runs into unexpected costs like new hires.

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