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Hall County Animal Control officers to get bulletproof vests

POSTED: August 7, 2014 12:46 a.m.

Hall County Animal Control has been awarded a grant, totaling $2,000, for five bulletproof vests to cover all the officers it has on the road.

Animal control applied to the National Animal Care and Control Association, which awarded 250 grants to 59 different agencies across 29 states.

“There is a process that has to happen such as all the officers being measured for the individual vests and then the vest being custom-made,” Hall County Animal Control Director Mike Ledford wrote in an email. “We should have the vests in service within the next couple of weeks.”

The application process began in December, as 135 agencies applied for money through the national animal control association, said NACA Executive Director George Harding. Only 250 of the 704 vests requested will be funded through the grants.

Only one member of local animal control has a vest: field supervisor Joey Robinson. Serving the longest with the agency, Robinson wears the vest, a lifesaver he has said he is grateful for daily, on calls in Hall County.

Animal control officials stress the equal danger faced by police and their agency. One such example came on July 16, when the Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad assisted Hall County Animal Control following a suspicion of cockfighting. The investigation led to the seizure of 82 marijuana plants and cockfighting apparatuses, while the offender also possessed a 12-gauge shotgun.

“When we go to these calls, we don’t know what kind of prior history has been there at that residence or the place that we’re going,” Robinson said to the Times during a June ride-along.

Six staff members, who work in specific districts of Hall County, can go out on calls, he said. The average day includes nine to 10 calls for each officer, ranging from responses to loose dogs and welfare checks.


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