BY ANN GENADER

The folks who protect the town will be better protected themselves thanks to the efforts and generosity of a local organization.

The Benevolent and Protective Order (BPO) Elks Lodge 2236 of West Milford donated $3,500 to buy "Active Shooter Body Armor" kits for police.

The donation ‑‑ $1,500 from a 2017 Foundation Anniversary Grant and $2,000 that the lodge raised itself ‑‑ was recently accepted by the Town Council.

The Elks organization will be 150 years old on Friday, Feb. 16. Its national foundation collects donations and provides grants and scholarships to help offset costs at the local level.

The West Milford lodge was given a $1,500 grant to help its community in a specific way.

The local Elks combined that grant with $2,000 it raised to be put toward purchase of body armor for local police.

Mayor Bettina Bieri and the township council, in accepting the donation, said it will be a great help to local police.

Having body armor enables police to quickly apprehend armed individuals, protecting the public and themselves.

“Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it,” advises one website.