Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 9, 2005

L’Observateur and the St. John Sheriff’s Office are joining together to raise $40,000 to

provide bulletproof vests for law enforcement personnel in need. Today we feature one of the lawmen on the streets who benefits from that added protection.

How to donate to the fund

LAPLACE – The St. John Sheriff’s Office Bulleetproof Vest Campaign is seeking $40,000 from the public to ensure that all law enforcement personnel on the streets are protected.

Vests have a lifespan of five years, yet it has been nearly eight years since vests were last purchased.

“We are well past the point of needing to get new vests,” Sheriff Wayne Jones said. “We had a drive in 1996, but now those vests are well past the point of needing to be replaced, not to mention the fact we have more deputies on the streets who need them.”

The Sheriff’s Office has already been approved for a federal grant for the vests, but that only pays for half of the cost.

Jones said that the department now needs 175 vests at a cost of $427 each, meaning there is a total of nearly $75,000 needed.

L’Observateur will recognize those who donate to the fund in different ways. A donation of $5,000 or more will mean a front page picture with Sheriff Jones; a donation of $1,000 or more will mean a picture with Sheriff Jones that will be published in the paper; and all other donations will be acknowledged at the end of a drive on a full page ad to be donated by L’Observateur. Additionally, the sheriff holds a post-campaign banquet when he honors those who gave to the fund.

Those who would like to donate should make checks out to “St. John Sheriff’s Vest Fund,” and send them to the St. John Sheriff’s Office, 1801 W. Airline Hwy., LaPlace, La., 70068.