Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani Police Officers, Who Risk Their
Lives for Us, Deserve the Protection of Bulletproof Vests
by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani
This week I joined with Commissioner Howard Safir and private sector leaders to announce a very important partnership for the City a new initiative to upgrade the bulletproof vests of thousands of police officers. Every day, the men and women of the NYPD put their lives on the line and don't ask questions. They deserve our protection in return.
But 18,000 officers who joined the force before July 1989 have not been issued state-of-the-art bullet resistant vests. To answer their need, the public and private sectors have risen to the task. It will cost approximately $4 million half of which is being financed by the City, and half by the private sector. That's an investment not only in these officers and their families, but in the future of the entire City.
Nine times last year alone, bulletproof vests saved police officers' lives like Detective Wafky Salem, who, on December 29, survived after being shot three times at point-blank range while arresting a drug dealer who was out on parole. Detective Salem got the chance to return to his family, his friends, and the job he loves. All our officers deserve that chance. If you are interested in lending your support to this campaign, please call the New York City Police Foundation at (212) 751-8170.
Also, I want to mention a piece of great news that New York City received this week. A brand new New York Times poll shows that across the country, good feelings toward New York City have surged. People are coming to realize what New Yorkers have known for some time that the old stereotypes of a dangerous, unfriendly and unmanageable New York City have given way to a new sense of optimism.
More than 60 percent of the people polled said they have a good image of the City, compared to just over 40 percent who said this in 1996. In 1996, equal numbers of people had good and bad impressions of New York City today, the people who have a good image of the City outnumber those with a bad impression more than two to one.
And what's even better news, of the people who have visited the City in the past five years, over 77 percent said they had a good image of the City compared to people who visited more than five years ago, that's a 17 percent jump. I'm proud of the turnaround as all New Yorkers should be. We did it together, and we continue to do it together.
Finally, I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy St. Patrick's Day on Tuesday.