Officers wearing new vests

COLUMBIA CITY — Columbia City’s police officers stay protected due to upgrades made possible by state law and federal funding.Columbia City Chief of Police Mike Petersen told the Columbia City Common Council last month that a new shipment of ballistic vests had arrived in his department.“We got 10 vests from the federal government’s 50/50 match” said Petersen. “State law requires you to supply vests and replace them every five years.”Petersen said the State of Indiana intervened in recent years to reinforce a “vest life expectancy” provided by the makers of the equipment.“It used to be that the manufacturer recommended that vests be replaced every five years,” said Petersen.“Now, it’s written in the Indiana Code.”Petersen said the local agency doesn’t take chances with the quality of the vests.“We do our own ballistic tests on them,” said Petersen.“Our tests came out fine.”Petersen said he looks at the value of the protective vests as two-fold.“It’s real important to have them (vests) for two reasons,” he said.“The first reason is obviously to protect the officers’ lives. Secondly, it allows them to continue with their mission.”