The vests will start to roll out to those officers as early as May 2015. Surprisingly, it has taken some 15 years to get a newer vest, and more surprisingly it has taken more lives to be lost in order for this change to occur. The proposed budget for the 13,000 new vests will be $7.3m.
The Police Chief and Mayor seems very sure that the vests will save more lives and add more protection for police women and men. The vests look much like the old ones, except they cover more of the side areas and also have a ceramic plate in the front, to protect from certain guns and also knives, according to Bratton.
The new vests are long overdue in my opinion, I don’t know anyone in the NYPD, but I can imagine what this new protection will do for them, for those who put their life on the line everyday. The new vests will be specially fitted to each officer and are lighter than the older vests, according to Bratton.
Mayor de Blasio also spoke about the lives that have been changed by the older vests but the importance of the newer vest to save more. As I watched the press conference I was impressed by the care on the faces of all those who were involved in introducing the new vests and their enthusiasm about the protection for the NYPD.
I am not sure if the vests will decrease crime, but the steps they are taking to assure the safety of police officers are great. Police Chief Bratton coins the vests the “Rolls Royce” of vests.