10.17.12

Leahy: Vt. Law Enforcement Agencies Receive Federal Grants To Buy Bulletproof Vests For Their Officers

More Than $71,000 Awarded To 25 Vt. Communities Under Leahy-Authored Program

(WEDNESDAY, Oct. 17) – U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded grants to 25 law enforcement departments across Vermont to aid in the purchase of bulletproof vests for state and local officers.  Jurisdictions slated to receive awards include individual towns, counties and the Vermont State Police.  The grants are made possible by the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, which Leahy authored in 1998.

Since its inception the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program has helped police departments across Vermont buy more than 3900 vests for law enforcement officers, and nearly one million vests have been purchased through the program nationwide.  This round of grants will help Vermont law enforcement agencies buy 310 new or replacement vests.

Leahy said, “Bulletproof vests are a proven way to reduce the risks and save the lives of those who serve day-in and day-out to help keep our communities safe.  The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program makes buying these vests possible in many communities that could not afford them without this federal partnership. This program and these vests are a lifeline for our law enforcement officers, and they are a tangible way to show our appreciation for all they do, by helping to keep them safe.”

The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program offers matching federal grants to state and local authorities for the purchase of bulletproof vests.  Leahy also worked to include in the grant program an all-state minimum formula to ensure that all qualifying state and local jurisdictions, including in smaller states like Vermont, would receive at least .5 percent of the total amount of federal funds appropriated in a given year.  Over the years Leahy has worked to improve the program in other ways as well.  He fought to include a matching requirement to ensure that in smaller jurisdictions, including certain jurisdictions in Vermont, the federal grant will always reach half of the purchase cost.  Leahy also worked to include a provision in the program to allow financially struggling jurisdictions to apply for hardship waivers of the 50 percent match requirement.


Leahy’s advocacy for the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant program has continued since the program was first authorized.  In May, legislation to reauthorize the program for a fifth time was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs. The legislation now is pending action by the full Senate.  The program was most recently renewed in 2008 and is currently authorized through the end of 2012.

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Vermont Jurisdictions Receiving Bulletproof Vest Grants

Jurisdiction

Grant Amount

Number of Vests

Bellows Falls Village

$3,900.00

13

Brattleboro

$ 5,391.00

18

Burlington

$ 2,995.00

10

Grand Isle County

$ 2,695.50

9

Groton Town

$ 299.50

1

Hardwick

$ 1,092.00

3

Hartford

$ 699.00

2

Lamoille County

$ 3,775.94

12

Manchester

$ 3,775.00

10

Middlebury

$ 2,400.00

5

Milton

$1,423.00

3

Morristown

$ 1,540.00

4

Orange County

$ 4,533.00

13

Pittsford

$ 1,864.96

2

Richmond

$ 599.00

2

Rutland City

$ 3,250.00

10

South Burlington

$ 5,242.50

15

Springfield

$ 898.50

3

St. Albans

$ 2,478.00

7

Stowe

$ 942.00

3

State of Vermont

$ 7,109.33

113

Washington County

$ 3,893.50

13

Wilmington

$ 537.50

2

Windham County

$ 9,800.00

35

Windsor

$ 599.00

2

Total for Vermont

$ 71,587.23

310

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