Wed May 7, 2014
Schumer: Funding for Life-Saving Bulletproof Vests Not Meeting Demand
Senator Chuck Schumer says bullet proof vests have saved the lives of over three thousand police officers the past thirty years.
And that includes Rochester police officer Luca Martini, who was shot while responding to a home invasion call on Driving Park Avenue in 2009.
Federal funding for a program that reimburses departments for half of the cost of the vests has declined, at the same time demand has gone up.
Schumer says in the Rochester Finger Lakes Region in 2010, Police Departments received roughly $104,000 in grants for vests. But in 2013, that funding shrank to $67,700
Schumer says the vests cost from 350 to 850 dollars a piece, and many police departments simply can't afford this vital life-saving piece of equipment.
He adds a bill that would increase funding for the vest program was blocked Monday in the Senate, so he plans to reintroduce it next week, coinciding with "National Police Week."
Schumer is urging his colleagues to support the bipartisan "Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act."