LoBiondo & Visclosky Applaud Passage of Legislation to Reauthorize Bulletproof Vest Program to Protect Law Enforcement Officers
WASHINGTON, DC – Late yesterday the House of Representatives approved S. 125, the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2015, by unanimous vote. U.S. Congressmen Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02) and Pete Visclosky (IN-01) authored the original legislation in 1997 and introduced the House-version of the latest reauthorization in January 2015. The measure will now be sent to President Obama to be signed into law.
“There is no disputing the threats those who wear the uniform face each day as they safeguard our communities. Bulletproof vests and body armor have saved thousands of law enforcement officers in South Jersey and across the country,” said Congressman LoBiondo. “Now more than ever it is imperative that we give law enforcement the tools they need so they may do their jobs and carry out their duties safely and effectively. I appreciate Congressman Visclosky’s unwavering partnership on this issue with me, which has proven to be a critical tool in protecting the lives of our law enforcement personnel.”
Congressman Pete Visclosky stated, “I thank the House leadership and the members of the House Judiciary Committee for their commitment to move this essential legislation forward. I also want to thank Congressman LoBiondo for his leadership in sponsoring the House version of this legislation. This program provides life-saving resources to our community police officers on the front line. I am grateful for the support of this program from my colleagues.”
This legislation reauthorizes the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) grant program at $25 million annually through Fiscal Year 2020. In addition, the legislation recognizes the invaluable contribution of female police officers in protecting our communities and permits the Department of Justice to prioritize grants to purchase vests that are uniquely fitted to female police officers.
Since its inception, the program has assisted in the purchase of 1,235,593 bulletproof vests in more than 13,000 jurisdictions nationwide. Specific to Northwest Indiana, in Fiscal Year 2015, $27,319 assisted in the purchase of 85 bulletproof vests to local law enforcement jurisdictions. In South Jersey, a total of $159,583.12 in federal funds aided in the purchase and replacement of 364 bulletproof vests.
For additional information on the BVP grant program, click here.