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New Vests Purchased for Emergency Response Team

Recently, the Board of Directors for the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation, approved a grant request from the Ottumwa Police Department. The request, from Ottumwa Police Chief, Tom McAndrew, was for assistance to purchase five new bullet proof vests. These vests are heavier than those worn during a police officer’s daily routine. These vests, specifically ordered for members of the Emergency Response Team (ERT), can withstand a much greater impact. The ERT members have been specially trained for high-risk, hazardous situations requiring a highly tactical response.

Being an ERT officer is voluntary and the team members train together one day a month. This additional response training substantially reduces the risk of injury or loss of life. Equally important to the additional training is state of the art equipment. According to Chief McAndrew, “these vests are critical to the safety of our officers during high-risk situations. We are thankful that the Legacy Foundation was able to step up and assist us with this purchase when the dollars were not available in the budget.”

“The Legacy Foundation has always been very supportive of public safety initiatives, especially those that involve equipment needed by first responders,” said foundation CEO, Steve Dust. Some past public safety requests include storm sirens in Agency and Eldon, smoke alarms for Sparky Claus, body armor for the volunteers in the Wapello County Sheriff’s Reserve, and support for Wapello County citizens through the American Red Cross. Since 2011, nearly $275,000 has been awarded to public safety initiatives around the county. 

More information on public safety or other grant requests funded by the foundation can be found at