CONGRESS PASSES PERMANENT BVP REAUTHORIZATION

CONGRESS PASSES PERMANENT BVP REAUTHORIZATION

05/16/2019

In a victory for NAPO and the law enforcement community, Congress just passed the legislation (H.R. 2379) that permanently reauthorizes the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Program at $30 million per year.  The bill will be sent to the President today to be signed into law.  We will never again have to come to Congress and fight to get this vital program reauthorized. 

NAPO thanks our members who lobbied on this legislation on Tuesday. Your efforts were instrumental in ensuring this legislation passed both the House and Senate this week.  We would also like to thank Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Representatives Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ) and Peter King (R-NY) for championing this legislation and for being long-time partners and friends in our work to ensure every officer has access to life-saving body armor.

Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant
Program Reauthorization
H.R. 2379 / S. 1231

Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) & Peter King (R-NY)
Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) & Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

• In 1998, with the National Association of Police Organizations’ (NAPO) support, Congress enacted
legislation that created a matching grant program through the Department of Justice to help fund state and
local law enforcement efforts to purchase bullet resistant vests for their officers, the Bulletproof Vest
Partnership (BVP) Grant Program.
• The BVP Grant Program is a critical resource for state and local jurisdictions that saves lives. To date, more
than 3,000 law enforcement officers have survived shootings thanks to their bullet resistant vests. Those
officers are only a fraction of the over 900,000 law enforcement officers who put their lives at risk every day
to protect our nation’s communities.
• Since the program’s inception, the BVP Grant Program has awarded more than 13,000 jurisdictions a total of
$477 million in federal funds for the purchase of over one million vests.
• Congress, at NAPO’s urging, has reauthorized the program five times, most recently in 2016. The BVP
Program requires that vests or body armor purchased with grant funds meet any performance standards
established by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. There is a mandatory wear policy for
agencies that receive body armor through this matching grant program to ensure that the vests purchased with
the grant funding are used to protect officers’ lives. Additionally, this program incentivizes agencies to
provide uniquely fitted vests for female officers.
• H.R. 2379 / S. 1231 would permanently reauthorize this vital program at $30 million per year. Making this
program permanent will ensure that the men and women who protect and serve our communities have access
to life-saving body armor.

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NAPO Position: While many officers are protected by bullet-resistant body armor, an alarming number of
officers, many in small departments across the nation, are not afforded this same protection due to local budget
constraints. The BVP Grant Program has enabled small and large, rural and urban law enforcement departments
to obtain protective equipment to safeguard their officers who risk their lives each and every day to keep our
communities safe. These brave men and women must be protected with the proper equipment.

NAPO strongly believes that permanently reauthorizing the BVP Grant Program will ensure that all of America’s law
enforcement officers are provided with the life-saving protection they need.

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