Police Chief Gary Yandura authorized the purchase of 55 American Body Armor bulletproof vests, along with GLOCK .45 caliber handguns and badges.
“Our top priority is the safety of our officers and the community,” Yandura said. “Before they even start patrolling, it is essential that every officer be outfitted with a bulletproof vest.”
The city is currently applying for a federal grant to cover the costs of the vests. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, at least 33 officers’ lives were saved nationally in fiscal year 2012 because of protective vests.
The service weapons, which are manufactured by Smyrna-based GLOCK Inc., are known for their accuracy, Yandura said. They also are the same make and model weapon carried by neighboring departments, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs police.
The chief said he anticipates purchasing additional weapons in the future.
Last week, the city announced it is recruiting more than 50 officers to staff its first police department. In addition to the chief, the city has hired a deputy chief and one sergeant, who are conducting interviews and leading recruiting efforts.
As of Monday, the city had received more than 400 applications for police officer positions.
Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis said the city’s goal is to have Brookhaven officers patrolling this summer.
DeKalb County Police currently patrol Brookhaven while the city builds its force. However, Yandura and Deputy Chief Ron Freeman are working closely with the DeKalb North Precinct to ensure the safety of Brookhaven.