Pascrell, Fitzpatrick Lead 26 Members of Congress Demanding Funding for Bulletproof Vests

Pascrell, Fitzpatrick Lead 26 Members of Congress Demanding Funding for Bulletproof Vests

Bipartisan group seeks $30 Million to protect law enforcement across country

 

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), the co-chair of the House Law Enforcement Caucus, and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01) led 26 Democrats and Republicans seeking to fund the Patrick Leahy Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Program at the authorized level of $30 million in the Fiscal Year 2022. BVP is a federal program that helps state and local law enforcement agencies purchase bulletproof vests for officers working in the field.

 

“Since 1999, the BVP program has awarded more than 13,000 jurisdictions a total of $522 million in federal funds for the purchase of over one million vests. According to the Government Accountability Office, over 3,000 law enforcement lives have been saved by armored vests since 1987. We urge you to consider the safety of our brave first responders as you formulate the FY22 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. By fully funding this critical program, we can continue to ensure that law enforcement officers have access to these lifesaving resources,” the members write the leaders of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies.

 

Rep. Pascrell was the author of legislation that permanently authorized the lifesaving Bulletproof Vests Grant program, which was signed into law on May 24, 2019. In 2020, the grant program allotted $23,579,734 to 4450 jurisdictions to purchase body armor for police officers across the country. Of that, there were 256 New Jersey jurisdictions that received $1,422,519 in BVP grants. Since 1999, the BVP program has awarded 13,000 jurisdictions a total of $522 million in federal funds for the purchase of over one million vests (1,395,976).

 

The text of the members’ letter is provided below.

 

April 26, 2021

 

The Honorable Matt Cartwright                                 The Honorable Robert Aderholt
Chairman                                                                    Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice,                       Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice,

Science, and Related Agencies                                  Science, and Related Agencies
House Appropriations Committee                             House Appropriations Committee Washington, DC 20515                                              Washington, DC 20515

 

 

Dear Chairman Cartwright and Ranking Member Aderholt,

 

As you consider the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, we urge you to fully fund the Patrick Leahy Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Program at the authorized level of $30 million.

 

The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program is critical for law enforcement agencies to appropriately equip and protect their officers in the field. Since 1999, the BVP program has awarded more than 13,000 jurisdictions a total of $522 million in federal funds for the purchase of over one million vests. According to the Government Accountability Office, over 3,000 law enforcement lives have been saved by armored vests since 1987.

 

We urge you to consider the safety of our brave first responders as you formulate the FY22 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. By fully funding this critical program, we can continue to ensure that law enforcement officers have access to these lifesaving resources.

 

Thank you for your attention to and consideration of this request.

 

Sincerely,

 

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