WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), co-chair of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, lauded passage in the House of his amendment to increase federal support for the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Program by $5 million. The measure brings funding for the program in the House FY2020 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill to its fully authorized level of $30 Million.
“After both chambers of Congress swiftly approved our bulletproof vest legislation last month, today we took the next logical step to protect our first responders in the field,” said Rep. Pascrell. “By fully funding this critical program, we can continue to ensure that law enforcement officers have access to these lifesaving resources. As co-chair of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, I am proud to champion this amendment today and I thank my colleagues for their support on behalf of police officers nationwide.”
Reps. Pascrell and Peter King (R-NY-02) first introduced legislation to permanently authorize the BVP grant program in April, which was approved by the House just one month later. Soon thereafter, the Senate passed companion legislation and the Pascrell bill was signed into law on May 24.In 2018, the BVP grant program allotted $29,876,699 for 4,470 jurisdictions to purchase body armor for police officers across the country. Of that, 257 New Jersey jurisdictions received $1,327,919 in BVP grants. Since 1999, the BVP program has awarded more than 13,000 jurisdictions a total of $467 million in federal funds for the purchase of over one million vests (1,349,813). According to a study conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), bulletproof vests have saved over 3,000 law enforcement lives since 1987.