Sheriff's Office Receives Support from Clerk of the Circuit Court to Purchase Ballistic Vests

NEWS RELEASE #: 16-167

Lieutenant Ryan Brown, Deputy Todd Armistead, Sheriff Tom Knight, Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller Karen E. Rushing, Colonel Kurt A. Hoffman, Lieutenant Brian Gregory and Major Jeff Bell.

Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight today accepted support from Sarasota County Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller Karen E. Rushing for the purchase of 350 ballistic vests.

The support, totaling more than $135,000, comes after active shooter situations have unfolded nationwide over the past several years. Each vest weighs approximately 16 lbs., and contains rifle-rated plates that offer deputies an extra layer of protection in large scale incidents. Every sworn law enforcement member as well as deputies assigned to the Sarasota County Courthouses will be equipped with a vest. 

"As we've seen across the country, an active shooter situation can unfold in a moment's notice," said Sheriff Knight. "For that reason, it's critical that we continue to equip our members with the best technology out there. Ms. Rushing is a tenured and very well-respected elected official who can appreciate being fiscally conscious but also balancing the need for enhanced public safety. We are very grateful for her support."

"I'm honored to be able to help protect the men and women who risk their lives every day for the quality of life we enjoy in our community," said Clerk of Court and County Comptroller Karen E. Rushing. "May these vests help keep our law enforcement professionals safe."

The ballistic vests were purchased through Federal Eastern International and manufactured by Point Blank Body Armor out of Pompano Beach, Florida.