New safety gear is now being used by Rio Hondo Police Department.

The department received free body armor as part of a grant signed by Governor Greg Abbott.

The department applied for the $8,500 grant money, which is available to law enforcement across the state.

With it, they purchased 11 full sets of level 4 body armor. That includes the carrier, the pouches and the ballistic plates that go inside the vests.

“They also have an enhanced first aid kit which has a tourniquet blood stopper and a pressure presser among other things. In the event they get shot or stabbed, they have the ability to protect themselves,” said Chief William Bilokury with the Rio Hondo Police Department.

In the past, the police department did not have this type of equipment to protect themselves.

This award it allows them to stay safe while responding and protecting the community.