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Police officers in the Town of Tonawanda will get added protection from their bulletproof vests now that the department is sinking $16,000 into new, higher-tech models, town officials said Monday.

Funding for the new vests comes partially through an $8,000 matching grant recently received by the Police Department from the Washington, D.C.-based Bureau of Justice Administration, Supervisor Carl J. Calabrese said.

The other $8,000 will come from the department's assets-forfeiture account, which includes money recovered from drug dealers and other criminals arrested in the town, Calabrese said.

The vests are a good investment that will protect the town's police force much better than the ones currently in use, Calabrese said. "These are much lighter, and they're much more protective against high-caliber bullets," he said.

The vests were acquired through the efforts of Police Chief Samuel M. Palmiere, Calabrese said.

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