Sheriff's Dept. fined after jail deputies found to be wearing outdated protective vests

TACOMA -- The state has fined the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department $3,600 for equipping jail deputies with outdated protective vests,  the News Tribune of Tacoma reported Thursday.

The state Department of Labor and Industries issued a “serious” violation and levied the fine Monday, the newspaper said.

The agency told the News Tribune that corrections deputies have been using 46 ballistic body armor vests that exceeded the manufacturer’s five-year warranty in May, when materials in them start to  break down.

L&I’s citation states that using expired vests was “likely to cause injuries involving permanent severe disability or death from a gunshot wound.”

Sheriff Paul Pastor told the News Tribune that the department is working with L&I to make sure corrections deputies in assignments requiring vests have ones that are not outdated.