Mayor Bill de Blasio announces $7 million for bullet-proof vests for NYPD

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Friday, February 6, 2015

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The officers who serve in the NYPD are about to receive some new protection in the fight against crime.

On Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged $7 million to buy new bullet-proof police vests.

The need for more vests has been a big complaint with some officers.

The City Council proposed the funding weeks after detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were assassinated on the job.

De Blasio says that since 1978, vests have saved the lives of 87 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," he said. "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."

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. The announcement renews the 2006 City Council's efforts to ensure new bulletproof vests were acquired for the force.

PBA president Pat Lynch released a statement after the event.

"Today's announcement is the culmination of years of working with the City Council and the Mayor's office to ensure that our members have the best protection bullet resistant vests available as they do the dangerous work of protecting the city," he said. "We've been fighting for a replacement and upgrade system since the Council approved funding for the level 3A vests with the side panels in 2006. We are grateful that the Mayor and Speaker heard our urgent call to purchase the vests immediately rather than to delay their purchase until FY 16 which is months away. We hope this represents the first of many actions that demonstrate City Halls true support for New York City police officers."