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Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Bratton and Speaker Mark-Viverito Announce $7.3 Million Investment to Upgrade Bulletproof Vests for NYPD Officers

February 6, 2015

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Mayor allocates $7.3 million this fiscal year to start buying life-saving vests for officers immediately

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Commissioner Bill Bratton and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito today announced the de Blasio administration will invest $7.3 million to upgrade 13,000 bulletproof vests, fulfilling the administration’s January 15, 2015 pledge to begin purchasing life-saving vests for the city’s police officers this year. This Mayoral investment will be reflected in the preliminary budget next week. The Mayor announced this allocation at the 34th Precinct in Manhattan during a visit with NYPD officers.

“The hardworking men and women who make up the NYPD put their lives on the line each day to protect our city’s residents—and we owe these officers every possible protection as they patrol our city’s streets. This administration is fully committed to ensuring the safety of our city’s officers, and that means making sure all our bulletproof vests are in working order.  We are allocating funds to this fiscal year so we can start buying vests immediately, providing our brothers and sisters in blue with life-saving protection right away,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I want to thank my partners in the City Council, and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, for joining in this effort to keep our officers safe from harm’s way.”

Since 1978, bulletproof vests have saved the lives of 87 NYPD officers. The NYPD will undertake a complete review of the optimal length of serviceability of vets to establish an appropriate regular replacement schedule for all vests going forward. Today’s announcement renews the 2006 City Council’s efforts to ensure new bulletproof vests were acquired for the force.

“Time and time again, I have seen bulletproof vests offer my officers lifesaving protection from potentially fatal gunfire. In the line of duty, our officers brave perilous circumstances to keep our neighborhoods safe—and we owe them the highest quality of protection as they perform this valiant task. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Melissa Mark-Vivierto, and our City Council members for making these vests a top priority and quickly committing this funding to New York’s finest,” said Commissioner Bratton.

“The brave men and women of the NYPD are mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, daughters and sons. They are our friends, family, and loved ones. That is why we must staunchly support them as they serve our city, and that is why we must ensure that that that the NYPD has the most up-to-date resources at their disposal as they protect all New Yorkers,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “These $7.3 million in funds for new bulletproof vests will ensure that NYPD continues to have the most advanced and effective technology available—because the safer our officers are, the safer we are as a city.”

“Keeping our NYPD officers safe is paramount to the safety of all New Yorkers,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson, Chair of the Public Safety Committee. “Bulletproof vests help save lives and I’m proud of the City Council’s efforts to ensure every single police officer will have a brand new bulletproof vest. I want to applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and my Council colleagues for their leadership in supporting this much-needed initiative, and thank the NYPD for the work they do every day to protect our City.”

“New York City has the finest police force in the world, and we must make sure the courageous men and women who serve on the NYPD have the tools they need to stay safe,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Chair of the Finance Committee. “The City Council is proud to support the NYPD and advocate for bulletproof vests for NYPD officers, and I thank Mayor de Blasio for supporting this important initiative.”

“We must protect those that put themselves at risk every day in order to protect us. These bulletproof vests will do just that and assuredly save hundreds of officer’s lives. I could not be more proud of the City Council and the administration for dedicating this funding to protect New York’s finest,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.

“Our police officers put themselves in harm’s way to keep our neighborhoods safe, and they deserve all the tools and equipment needed to lessen the risks they face,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Investing in our officers’ safety is simply the right thing to do.”

“Protecting New York City’s finest, who risk not coming home to their families every day and night to protect us, is a must. These vests will save lives, and there is no better investment the City could make. I want to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio, Commissioner Bill Bratton and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for securing the funding needed to start upgrading bulletproof vests immediately,” said State Senator Adriano Espaillat.


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