Police officers face extreme dangers daily and they often run towards it bound by honor and their duty to serve and protect. Unfortunately, not all officers are equipped equally and a good percentage of them still don’t have access to lifesaving equipment like ballistic vests.
Now, there is plenty of research to show that body armor is effective, yet many police departments don’t require them to be worn (which means they won’t be paying for them either). As of 2013, only 71% of police departments required their officers to wear ballistic vests. If this number seems low to you, we couldn’t agree more!
While larger departments often have allowances for gear or receive government funding, the same does not hold true for small-town police officers. In many cases, they are responsible for purchasing their own vests. If you’ve found that you and other individuals within your organization have to step up and acquire your own protective gear, we’ve got a few ideas that should help. At the end of the day, we believe all those on the force and in first responder positions should have access to this lifesaving gear.
Gear Aid for Officers
There are many ways you can seek out additional or supplemental funding for gear, whether that be community fundraisers, charity events or sponsorships. However, there are two official ways you can finance this safety endeavor and increase the number of bulletproof vests in your organization.
Option #1: The Patrick Leahy Bulletproof Vest Partnership
Some departments may be eligible to apply for the Patrick Leahy Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP). This grant helps to fund the purchase of critical resources for state and local law enforcement so that more officers can stay safe while on duty. The one catch when it comes to ballistic vest funding through the Office of Justice Programs is that the applying department must have a mandatory wear policy to receive a grant. This means that all uniformed officers must utilize their vests while on duty. BJA also encourages agencies to consult the International Association of Chiefs of Police's Model Policy on Body Armor and to strongly consider all recommendations within that policy.
Option #2 Justice Assistance Grants
When your grant doesn’t cover the full cost of the equipment you need, funds can also be acquired from the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG). This allocation can be used to pay the remaining amount on the gear not covered by the BVP grant. Funds can be used to procure ballistic-resistant and stab-resistant body armor. Similar to the BVP, a written mandatory wear policy must be in effect for all uniformed officers before the awarding of the grant.
What are the limitations?
Not all those who apply will be guaranteed approval. If your department is fortunate enough to be awarded both of these grants in a single fiscal year, there are certain limitations on how the funds can be used. Either way, both grants are a great way for police departments to fund their budget for protective vests and gear. We encourage everyone to look into these opportunities and apply for them to get more officers in vests that can save lives.
Get the Best Without Breaking the Bank
We understand that body armor can be expensive, but just because one model is priced higher than another, doesn’t mean it’s safer. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get your hands on a high-quality vest and when it comes to saving lives, they’re well worth the investment.
We take pride in our craftsmanship and the quality of every product we offer. By bundling our products, you can save a lot on your protective gear budget. Our complete bundle includes a concealed vest, a tactical vest and rifle plates so each person who wears our armor is safeguarded no matter the situation they may enter. This is a deal you won’t want to forget about the next time your department is looking to restock!
Alternatively, if you’re just looking to get more vests for a lower cost, our concealable or tactical vests may be an affordable option for you to consider. Each of our products offers bullet, strike, and slash protection and our Level 3A+ (IIIIA+) vests are NIJ certified. We encourage any groups looking to buy for their entire team to reach out to us so we can pay special attention to your order and discuss all of your options for protection.