When Brooklyn Police Officer Anthony Mosomillo was shot to death in 1998, a contributing factor was the lack of state-of-the-art protective gear.
Fast forward 18 years, and cops now are issued upgraded bulletproof vests that have certainly saved lives, thanks in large part to the efforts of Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who made it his mission back in 2006 to find $9.9 million in funding for state-of-the-art bulletproof vests that were given to 17, 600 NYPD officers, and who again pushed for $7.3 million in funding for new bulletproof vests, replacing 13,000 outdated one following the assassination of Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in 2014 while sitting in their patrol car.
Soon, in the wake of police shootings in Dallas, Kansas City and Baton Rouge, they will also be getting $7.5 million worth of high-tech personal protective equipment including heavy ballistic vests and helmets to further enhance the safety of responding officers in the event of an active shooter situation. In addition, all patrol cars will be furnished with protective ballistic panels.
“Just as I did in 2006 and again in 2015 when I successfully advocated for the city to purchase bulletproof vests and then pay for their upgrade, I am in full support of the NYPD’s plans to spend additional funds for more protective equipment for police officers,” said Gentile. “In wake of the increasing violence and tension against police forces nationwide, this is a prudent move to better protect our police force.”
“Now, more than ever, society is asking its police officers to go into harm’s way and to face grave danger,” Police Commissioner William Bratton stressed. “The department is fortunate to have the financial support to ensure that as they do, they have the best equipment and protection available.”
“Every NYPD officer will be equipped with a new helmet and heavy armored vest so that they are better prepared, and better able to protect themselves and others, in a dangerous situation,” added Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This is the latest in a series of investment designed to ensure that the NYPD remains the strongest, most professional police force in the world.”
Delivery of the equipment will begin at the end of this summer and continue through January 2017, until all vests and helmets have been distributed.