Deputies and other first responders in Travis County will be getting rifle-resistant vests after the county raised $200,000 by selling on-hand food inventory to meal services company Aramark.
The Travis County Commissioners Court gave unanimous approval for the purchase of vests for Travis County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Constable Precincts One through Five, Transportation and Natural Resources park rangers and Travis County fire marshals.
The county was able to come up with the funds when the Commissioners Court approved a contract awarding the operation of the kitchens at the county’s correctional facilities to Aramark on Jan. 9, which the county says resulted in “significant cost savings.” During Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners approved the transfer of funds from “Food and Groceries” to “Law Enforcement Supplies and Equipment.”
In January of this year, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the state was buying 33,000 vests for more than 450 law enforcement departments at a cost of $23 million.
Travis County did not apply for the grant because a condition from the governor’s office was that the agency “sign a letter confirming compliance with [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] detainer requests both now and during the grant term of at least one year,” Commissioners Court records showed.
Sheriff Sally Hernandez would not sign the letter committing to holding arrested undocumented immigrants for ICE.