BOARDMAN Armor panels to be added to police cars

Staff report


The township trustees approved a purchase the police chief said will go a long way toward improving officer safety.

The trustees voted Monday night to spend $23,797 to purchase 24 armor panels that will be installed in the doors of patrol vehicles.

Police Chief Todd Werth said testing has shown the protection offered by modern vehicle doors is pretty limited.

The new panels have the ability to stop “pretty significant rounds,” and he said they have been adopted by many police departments nationwide.

The panels, which drop into the patrol vehicle doors, increase officer safety without requiring major changes to the vehicles, Werth said.

The township paid for the panels using money seized during criminal investigations.

Werth also told the trustees the department began taking measurements for bulletproof vests. The department’s new policy will require officers to wear vests at all times. The cost has not been calculated as the vests order has just gone in, officials said.

Several local departments re-evaluated their policies concerning wearing bulletproof vests after the death of Girard Officer Justin Leo, who was not wearing a vest when he was shot to death after responding to a domestic dispute in October.

A federal grant will cover half of Boardman’s bulletproof-vest purchase. The rest will come from money seized during criminal investigations.

Also at the meeting, the trustees approved a $11,750 study by GPD Group of Youngstown that will develop potential changes for Market Street.

Krista Beniston, director of zoning and development, said residents have voiced a desire to see a more “downtown feel” along Market Street that could include bike lanes or more pedestrian access.

The study will examine possibilities and provide realistic alternatives the township can present to the public, Beniston said.

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