FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE††††††††††† ††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† BJA
Wednesday, January 23, 2002††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† †202/307‑0703
†††††††††††††† JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HELPS POLICE DEPARTMENTS
BUY BULLETPROOF VESTS
WASHINGTON, D.C.‑‑ The Justice Departmentís Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is making $25 million available to help law enforcement agencies across the nation obtain bulletproof vests.† On January 14, OJPís Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) opened the application process for the FY 2002 Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program, which provides for up to half the cost of bulletproof vests.† The application period closes April 13, 2002.†
"Our nationís police officers put their lives on the line for our citizens every day," said Assistant Attorney General Deborah J. Daniels.† "I am proud of our role in advancing the safety of these dedicated individuals."
Through the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program, BJA provides for up to half the cost
of bulletproof vests.† Last year, BJA assisted over 4,400 law enforcement agencies across the nation. Funding for over 300,000 bulletproof vests has been provided to state, county, and tribal local law enforcement agencies in the program's first three years.† Each jurisdiction may purchase one vest per officer per year, and all vests must meet or exceed standards developed by OJPís National Institute of Justice (NIJ).
Beginning in FY 2001, jurisdictions were able to apply for funding to purchase stab‑resistant vest models that are approved by NIJ.† NIJ issued a standard for stab-resistant body armor in September 2000.
The Bulletproof Vest Program is run via the Internet, enabling law enforcement agencies or jurisdiction officials to gain access to information from any computer at any time. Eligible personnel can browse the Website and get information on vest models, as well as discuss preferred types of vests with other agencies.
BJA established a toll‑free number to assist agencies with their applications.† The number is 877/758-3787.† Also, rural jurisdictions without Internet access are linked through to the National Center for Rural Law Enforcement (NCRLE), which helps jurisdictions find Internet access or process their applications by phone.
The Bulletproof Vest Program was re-authorized by the Bulletproof Vest Grant Partnership Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-517). The law reauthorized the program for three more years, and provided priority funding for jurisdictions with populations under 100,000.
†† The following Websites have information about the program and the application:
Bulletproof Vests: http://vests.ojp.gov/.
For additional information, contact Sheila Jerusalem or Heather Schoell at 202/307‑0703.
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