Local police agencies get vest funding

Three local police agencies will be receiving bulletproof vests through grant funding. New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced Monday that 60 law enforcement agencies have been awarded funds including Dunkirk, Fredonia and Gowanda police departments.

The Dunkirk, Fredonia and Gowanda police departments will receive over $16,000 collectively to purchase 38 vests for sworn officers. The funding comes through the inVEST Partnership, which was announced by Schneider-man in June. The program replaces funding cut from the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act established in 1998. The BVP grants provided up to 50 percent in matching funds for local law enforcement agencies. Due to partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C., the amount of grants in New York state have decreased significantly which led Schneiderman to institute the inVEST Partnership.

“Every day in communities all across New York, the brave men and women serving in our police departments put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe,” said Schneider-man. “We have an obligation to do everything in our power to protect those who are sworn to protect us, and we are. The inVEST Partnership grants we are announcing today will arm brave officers with life-saving vests they might not otherwise have, adding a critical layer of safety to one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.”

According to the National Institute of Justice, it is estimated bulletproof vests have saved more than 3,000 police officers’ lives while serving in the line of duty. The Gowanda Police Department will receive $9,450 for 21 bulletproof vests, Dunkirk Police Department will receive $2,385 for seven vests and Fredonia Police Department will receive $4,500 for 10 vests. Other local police agencies in Chautauqua County receiving funding are Jamestown Police Department in the amount of $1,400 and Town of Ellicott Police Department receiving $9,500.

New York State Senator Tim Kennedy said the brave men and women throughout western New York go to work without a guarantee of safety. He said those brave individuals take an oath to protect the communities across the region and willingly place themselves in danger.

“Nothing we do in state government is more important than providing our brave men and women in uniform with every protection available to ensure they return home to their loved ones at the end of their shift. That’s why I’m proud to join Attorney General Schneiderman today to deliver this critical funding which will help outfit our local police force with the newest technology in lifesaving bulletproof vests, and I want to thank the Attorney General for his relentless work to protect Western New Yorkers,” Kennedy said.

For a complete list of agencies receiving funding, visit www.ag.ny.gov/pdfs/invest_County_Breakdown.pdf.

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