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New W.Va. law provides for deputies body armor

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A fatal West Virginia shootout has prompted a new law meant to ensure that all deputy sheriffs have body armor.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin held a ceremonial signing Monday for the legislation. It requires that county sheriffs statewide provide bullet-resistant vests to deputies.

The August wounding of Roane County Deputy John Westfall spurred the measure. Westfall was shot three times by a suspect who had just murdered two state troopers.

Officials say a bullet-resistant vest saved Westfall's life. The married father of three had borrowed it from the city of Spencer, where he has also served as a patrolman.

A number of county sheriffs, State Police brass and lawmakers attended Monday's ceremonial signing. Tomblin signed the bill into law last week.

The new law takes effect July 1.


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