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Taylor County Sheriff’s Deputy Crystal Perez is the first officer to receive new body armor under a grant provided by the National Rifle Association Foundation. The funds were awarded earlier last year in an effort to put body armor in the hands of officers who might not be issued it otherwise due to budget limitations.

Deputy Perez is currently assigned to the Taylor County Jail as a deputy/corrections officer. She said the new piece of equipment is invaluable to her, because along with her jail work she also works security at special events in the Abilene area.

“There’s a definite need for officers to have body armor nowadays,” Perez said, “but the cost of having each one custom-made keeps many departments and many officers from being able to afford them.”

Perez said the vest gives “peace of mind” to officers as they respond to a variety of incidents.

“Even the entertainment events in Abilene can become dangerous at times,” Perez said, adding that “some of the least likely times for trouble are when we will have an incident.” Perez said she was extremely grateful when she heard that she would be given a vest. “I’ve wanted one for a long time, but knew that I’d have to wait my turn. That day has come sooner than I expected.”

This $3,450 grant will provide body armor for approximately six Taylor County deputies.

Source: Taylor County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. John Cummins.

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