The Department is equipping all officers with the latest devices and tools to streamline crime-fighting efforts, increase the safety of officers and the public, and ensure fairness within the City's criminal justice system.
The Department began replacing its body armor in 2015. The program, funded by the New York City Council, outfits uniformed members of the service with new and significantly upgraded vests that are 30% lighter than those previously issued, while offering maximum coverage. The new vests include a stab-resistant/long-gun-rated ballistic front plate and are designed to mold to an officer's unique shape. As of early 2016, nearly half of the officers have received the new vests. The City Council has also funded a five-year replacement cycle for the vests going forward.
The Department also expanded the utilization of heavy vests that provide specialized support, previously used only by the Emergency Service Unit and the Hostage Negotiation Team, but now available for the Counterterrorism Bureau's Critical Response Command, which is supplied with 240 heavy vests, and the Special Operations Division's Strategic Response Group, which is supplied with 360.
The Counterterrorism Bureau's CT Division has been rolling out Belt-worn Trauma Kits (BTK) to all uniformed officers. The kits include Nitrile gloves made from synthetic rubber, a pressure bandage, and QuikClot, a hemostatic device that stops bleeding significantly faster and more effectively than standard gauzes. These kits also contain emergency tourniquets, a life-saving tool in many cases. The Department has been distributing the kits to officers and providing training, enabling officers to provide immediate medical intervention to stabilize patients until emergency medical workers can respond.