U.S. Congressmen Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) and Peter Visclosky (IN-01) have introduced a four year reauthorization of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) program. Created in 1999 by the two lawmakers, the bipartisan BVP program provides state, local and tribal law enforcement officers with needed protection by aiding the purchase of protective equipment. The last reauthorization in 2008 expired in October 2012.
"The men and women in our local law enforcement play an essential role in safeguarding our communities and protecting the freedoms all of us enjoy. Bulletproof vests and body armor have saved thousands of law enforcement officers. However, they cannot protect the lives of those who do not have access to them," said LoBiondo. "As protectors of our lives and our property, it is imperative that we give law enforcement the critical tools they need so they may do their jobs and carry out their duties safely and effectively. The Bulletproof Vest Partnership program is one of those critical tools."
"Our families have entrusted the men and women of state and local law enforcement with the responsibility of protecting their lives, their homes, and their property. We must ensure that each and every officer has access to the equipment, training, and support they need as they place their lives on the line for us. Bulletproof vests are crucial, lifesaving tools, and the Bulletproof Vest Partnership program helps local law enforcement agencies acquire them. I am proud to support the Bulletproof Vest Partnership program," said Visclosky.
Since 1999, over 13,000 jurisdictions across the country have participated in the BVP program with nearly $300 million in federal funds committed to support the purchase of more than 1 million vests. Additional information on the BVP program can be found at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bvpbasi.
The lawmakers' bipartisan bill, "The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act of 2013" (H.R. 988), was introduced on the House floor yesterday.