Bamberg County Sheriff’s Department receives $10,000 grant to purchase new bulletproof vests


BAMBERG, S.C. (WJBF) – Some new upgrades will soon be coming to the Bamberg County Sheriff’s Office.

The county received a $10,000 grant from the South Carolina General Assembly and the South Carolina Department of Public Safety to purchase the new bulletproof vests.

“I believe bulletproof vests are necessary because we hear about police officers being killed every day across the country,” said Evert Comer Jr., chairman of the Bamberg County Council.

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs (OHSJP), “The South Carolina General Assembly has designated state non-recurring funds for the purpose of providing financial assistance to local governments for the purchase of bulletproof vests for law enforcement officers.”

Sheriff Kenneth Bamberg said the new vests will be distributed to five new officers at the department, and that several deputies were issued the vests three years ago and are still in good condition.

“When I took office in 2021, every single deputy that works with us was issued a brand new vest that was manufactured in 2021 and has a five-year lifespan. They won’t have to be replaced until 2025 or 2026,” Bamberg said.

County Administrator Joey Preston says this is another step forward for the Sheriff’s Department.

“Just a few years ago, before Sheriff Bamberg was elected, a lot of the equipment in the sheriff’s office was old and outdated. By applying for grants like this and working with his staff, he was able to find these sources and pretty much re-equip his entire department,” Preston said.

“Like I said, we need to keep the supplies flowing, keep the choir going and make sure the Sheriff’s Office can do the best it can for Bamberg County,” Comer Jr. said.

Officials say the next step in the process is for public safety officials to liquidate the funds.

Once that’s done, the Sheriff’s Department will order the bulletproof vests.

They hope to get the new bulletproof vests to officers within the next three months.

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