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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
FairfaxPublic SafetyFairfax Sheriff's Office sending ballistic vests to Ukraine

Fairfax Sheriff’s Office sending ballistic vests to Ukraine

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The ongoing war in Ukraine has prompted the Fairfax County Office of the Sheriff to donate 110 used ballistic vests to protect lives of people in that country.

The agency shipped the vests, which were in good condition but past their five-year warranty, to the Lift Up Ukraine campaign. A post on the Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page cited the “dire situation in Ukraine and the scarcity of body armor” and said that officials “hope our equipment will help protect the lives of Ukrainians as they defend their country from the Russian invasion.”

The Sheriff’s Office learned about the ballistic-vest initiative through an e-mail from the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, which directed the message to police chiefs and sheriffs.

“The Ukrainians are seeking new or used body armor for any threat level,” said Andrea Ceisler, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman. She did not know who exactly would receive the body armor, but said “Ukrainians can decide the best use of the vests.”

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The vests are designed to stop small-arms fire and light shrapnel, said Ceisler, who did not have immediate knowledge of which company or companies manufactured the vests and how much each one cost.

Ceisler read the e-mail, inquired whether the agency’s Fiscal & Material Management Section had anything to donate and received an affirmative response. Sheriff Stacey Kincaid approved the request and the agency the following day transported the used vests to a collection point in Falls Church.

Officials then transported the donations to Richmond, where they were consolidated with ones from other areas and readied to be shipped to Ukraine, Ceisler said.

The Sheriff’s Office typically donates its used ballistic vests to Vests for Life, which helps law-enforcement agencies that cannot afford needed safety equipment, Ceisler said. The Sheriff’s Office decided to support the Ukrainian effort this time. The only person who needed to approve such a donation was Sheriff Kincaid, she said.

Asked whether there might be risks in effectively taking sides in an international conflict, Ceisler said no.

“The decision to support Ukraine is not controversial,” she said. “We support democracy and oppose genocide.”

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