The Cost of Ballistic Vests: Buying Body Armor for a Team

Bulletproof vest - Safe Life Defense

Police officers face extreme dangers daily, bound by honor and their duty to serve and protect. Unfortunately, not all officers are equipped equally. A good percentage of them still don’t have access to lifesaving equipment, like ballistic vests.

There is plenty of research to show that body armor is effective, yet many police departments don’t require them to be worn. This 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!

Larger departments often have allowances or receive government funding for gear. The same can’t be said for small-town police officers. In many cases, they are responsible for purchasing their own vests. At the end of the day, we believe all those in first responder positions should have access to lifesaving gear.

Gear Aid for Officers

There are many ways you can seek out funding for gear, whether that be community fundraisers, charity events or sponsorships. However, there are two official ways you can receive assistance in purchasing bulletproof vests for 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 fund purchases of critical resources for state and local law enforcement. 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 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 can be used to pay the remaining amount on the gear not covered by the BVP grant. Funds can be used to get 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 receiving the grant.

What are the limitations?

Not all applicants are 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.

Get the Best Without Breaking the Bank

We understand that body armor can be expensive, but just because one model is more expensive, doesn’t mean it’s safer. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get your hands on a high-quality vest. 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.

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