The Kilgore City Council recently passed Resolution 23-01, naming the city manager as the authorized official of an application for bullet-resistant shields for some Kilgore police officers through a state program set up by Gov. Greg Abbott.
Council approved the resolution as part of their most recent consent agenda, enabling City Manager Josh Selleck to execute the documents related to the grant application process. The authorized official is given the power to apply for, accept, reject, alter or terminate the grant on behalf of the applicant agency. The grant was initially filed by KPD in September 2022, but the remainder of the process will be overseen by the city manager in order to comply with the requirements of the program.
The program requirements stipulate all applications submitted by local law enforcement agencies/offices must be submitted by a unit of government affiliated with the agency, including an authorizing resolution from that unit of government.
Abbott introduced the program last year after the Uvalde school shooting, in an effort to equip SROs (School Resource Officers) or other peace officers who may be called on to respond to an emergency at a school with bullet-resistant shields. In June 2022, the governor and Texas legislative leaders transferred $105.5 million to support additional school safety and mental health initiatives, including $3 million for local law enforcement agencies to offset travel expenditures for ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training) and $50 million for bullet-resistant shields, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
The Texas Rifle Shield Grant provides up to $50 million in funding to eligible agencies specifically to purchase rifle-rated ballistic shields to respond to an active attacker scenario at schools.
“The purpose of this announcement is to solicit applications from law enforcement agencies to equip peace officers with bullet-resistant shields,” read a statement from Abbott’s office with info about the program.
Funds from the grant may only be used to equip peace officers directly employed by a law enforcement agency operated by the applicant.
According to state info, the Texas Public Safety Office will prioritize the equipping of certain types of officers in the following order:
- Peace officers directly employed by school districts;
- Peace officers contracted by school districts; and
- Other peace officers who may respond to school safety emergencies.