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Bedford sheriff presents armor vests

February 27, 2014 | Virginia News

Sheriff Mike Brown gave 114 vests to agencies across the state, paid for by a lawsuit settlement.

By Justin Faulconer
The (Lynchburg) News & Advance

BEDFORD — A West Virginia state trooper recounted getting shot while on duty in Logan County, W.Va., to Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown.

Trooper Shannon Loudin told Brown he was surprised when the man pulled out a gun and shot him in the chest. Loudin’s patrol car was running outside and he managed to escape, Brown said. Loudin was wearing a ballistic vest at the time.

The experience left Brown thinking about law enforcement officers who would not have had access to a vest in a similar situation.

On Thursday, Brown said he was honored to “strike a little blow” toward the trend of funding shortages for equipment while presenting 114 vests to more than a dozen agencies across Virginia. The ballistic, concealable gear is “the best you can buy” and cool to wear in the summer, Brown said.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran traveled to the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office to take part in distributing the vests.

The “Protect the Protectors” program, which Brown described as near and dear to his heart, was started by the Safe Surfin’ Foundation, a nonprofit affiliated with the Bedford County Sheriff’s office that helps combat crimes against children.

The grants to distribute the vests are part of a $1.5 billion court settlement between the United States and Abbott Laboratories for Medicaid fraud. The Virginia Attorney General’s Office was the lead investigative agency, which entitled the state to $115 million from the agreement, and former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli worked to get those funds released...

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