Mahoning Valley police department policies vary for wearing bulletproof vests. Some communities benefit from a federal vest program, which provides partial funding for the vests but requires they wear them at all times.
Youngstown: Department policy states all uniformed officers while working patrol field duty shall wear body armor (vest) under the uniform shirt.
Canfield: Chief Chuck Colucci said it’s mandatory for all officers to wear vests. “For several years, we’ve received a federal grant that pays for 75 percent of each of those vests,” he said.
Boardman: Chief Todd Werth said his department is in the process of implementing a mandatary-wear policy and is working to update and purchase vests for all officers.
Poland Township: Chief Brian Goodin said all officers wear vests. The department participates in the federal vest program, so officers benefiting from the program must wear the vest on duty. He said the department does not force officers to participate, but all officers do.
Liberty: Chief Richard Tisone said Liberty benefits from the federal vest program, and all uniformed officers must wear a vest. “We have had that policy since I was hired 32 years ago. Any job that requires a uniform, you have to wear a bulletproof vest,” Tisone said. Any detective or plainclothes employee must wear vests when doing anything that could be dangerous, such as executing search warrants.
Hubbard: Chief James Taafe said officers aren’t required to wear a vest, but their clothing allowance provides more than enough to purchase a bulletproof vest.
Austintown: Police Chief Bob Gavalier said officers are required to wear body armor.