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PR- 139-06
May 4, 2006


18,000 New Vests Will be Provided to NYPD Officers Over Two Years
New Vest Design Resulted From Shooting Death of Detective Dillon Stewart

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Speaker Christine C. Quinn announced today that $12 million will be included in the Mayor’s Executive Budget to purchase 18,000 bullet proof vests for New York City Police Officers.  The $12 million will be spent in Fiscal Years ’07 and ‘08 to upgrade all members of the New York City Police Department (NYPD ) who now use Second Chance Armor Inc, Level II.  18,000 officers will be upgraded to Redesigned Level IIIA vests that offer greater protection and more coverage of vulnerable areas.

“Bullet proof vests are the first line of defense for the men and women of the NYPD,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “Unfortunately, not only do illegal guns flood our streets, but these guns are more sophisticated and powerful and the NYPD must constantly enhance and redesign vests to offer more and better protection. The 18,000 vests we are investing in protect against higher caliber bullets and improve coverage of the neck and side of the torso.  I want to thank Speaker Quinn for her leadership on this issue, which was essential to getting these 18,000 new vests to our Police Officers.

“Day in and day out, the officers of the NYPD are on the frontlines protecting us,” said Speaker Quinn.  “The City needs to do everything we can to protect them, and by investing in bulletproof vests with up-to-date technology, we are doing just that. I want to thank the Mayor and Police Commissioner for responding to the Council’s call to make sure all our police officers -- our City’s finest -- have the equipment they need to stay safe while doing their jobs.”

There are currently two different types of vests in use by members of the Police Department on patrol, and a third by the current Police Academy class.  Half of the officers on patrol use Level II vests and the other half use Level IIIA vests.  The current Police Academy class uses Level IIIA Redesigned vests.   Level II vests are certified by the National Institute of Justice to stop 9mm and .357 rounds fired from 16 feet with a velocity of 1,100 feet per second.  The newer Threat Level IIIA vests are certified to stop both 9mm and .44 magnum rounds fired from 16 feet with a velocity of 1,400 feet per second.

After Detective Dillon Stewart was shot and killed, Commissioner Kelly directed the NYPD and manufacturer, Second Chance Armor Inc., to redesign the Level IIIA vest in order to provide enhanced neck and side coverage and overlapping side panels to allow for changes in the body shape of the wearer.

The new Redesigned Level IIIA has been issued to the current academy class that is scheduled to graduate in late June. It will also be issued to all new recruits thereafter.  As a result of this agreement, 18,000 officers, 9,000 in FY ’07 and 9,000 in FY ’08 will be fitted for Redesigned Level IIIA vests. Each vest costs $560 and it will take 18 months to design, produce and test the vests and outfit each officer.

“It’s a fitting tribute to Officer Dillon Stewarts’s memory that an improved, NYPD-directed design emerged from his tragic death,” said Police Commissioner Kelly.  “I want to commend the members of the NYPD Vest Committee for working closely with the manufacturer to quickly devise an improved design that provides even more protection than the latest models.”


Stu Loeser/Jordan Barowitz   (212) 788-2958


Paul Browne   (DCPI)
(646) 610-6700

Maria Alvarado (Speaker Quinn)   (212) 788-7116

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