11.08.17

Leahy’s Bulletproof Vest Program Awards Grants To 34 Vermont Communities To Help Equip Law Enforcement Officers With 280 More Lifesaving Vests

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced that 34 Vermont law enforcement agencies will receive federal funding to help purchase a total of 280 lifesaving protective vests. The FY 2017 funding, administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, is made possible under the Leahy-authored Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Program.  With these most recent awards, Vermont agencies to date have received more than $1 million to help purchase nearly 4,800 vests.

Leahy said:  “In Vermont and across the nation, those who protect our communities increasingly are being called upon to respond to dangerous situations.  As recent tragedies have shown us, yet again, we must do all we can to ensure the safety of those who risk their own lives to protect innocent people.”  He noted the need for protective vests is heightened by the rise in drug trafficking in Vermont and around the nation.

A leading member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Leahy led the work to create the vest program in the aftermath of a 1997 shootout on the Vermont-New Hampshire border in which the gunman killed four people, including two state troopers.  Three law enforcement officers were wounded.  The gunman, who was also killed, was armed with a semi-automatic rifle and wore a bulletproof vest.

Nationwide, the Leahy-authored BVP program has awarded more than 13,000 jurisdictions a total of $430 million in federal funds to support the purchase of more than 1.2 million vests (1,294,837 as of July 2017).  Leahy leads in securing annual funding for the program as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  

Leahy noted that the program is vital for small communities that struggle under tight budgets to keep their officers safe.  Through Leahy’s efforts, communities that cannot meet the 50 percent federal match requirements may also be eligible for waivers.  Leahy led the five-year reauthorization of the BVP program in 2016.

“This is the type of commonsense program that Congress must continue to support for decades to come,” Leahy said.  “We have solid evidence that these vests save lives.”

Vermont Jurisdictions Receiving Bulletproof Vest Grants

State

Jurisdiction Name

BVP Funding Amount

Estimated Number of Vests

VT

BARRE CITY

$4,684.80

14

VT

BARRE TOWN

$478.78

2

VT

BRATTLEBORO TOWN

$4,053.08

14

VT

BURLINGTON CITY

$9,490.19

34

VT

CALEDONIA COUNTY

$6,064.04

21

VT

COLCHESTER TOWN

$1,916.73

6

VT

FRANKLIN COUNTY

$1,277.82

4

VT

GRAND ISLE COUNTY

$1,794.94

5

VT

HARDWICK TOWN

$1,178.79

4

VT

HARTFORD TOWN

$2,330.02

5

VT

KILLINGTON TOWN

$664.47

2

VT

LAMOILLE COUNTY

$3,587.87

15

VT

LUDLOW TOWN

$520.71

1

VT

MIDDLEBURY TOWN

$1,753.01

5

VT

MILTON TOWN

$1,880.79

5

VT

MONTPELIER CITY

$1,018.27

3

VT

MORRISTOWN TOWN

$958.37

3

VT

NEWPORT CITY

$5,031.41

14

VT

NORTHFIELD TOWN

$3,549.01

9

VT

NORWICH TOWN

$1,916.73

4

VT

ORANGE COUNTY

$4,642.07

15

VT

ORLEANS COUNTY

$1,183.58

4

VT

RANDOLPH TOWN

$1,397.62

3

VT

RICHMOND TOWN

$591.79

2

VT

RUTLAND CITY

$3,833.45

12

VT

SHELBURNE TOWN

$1,594.08

4

VT

SOUTH BURLINGTON CITY

$2,292.09

7

VT

SPRINGFIELD TOWN

$1,375.65

5

VT

ST ALBANS CITY

$1,916.73

6

VT

SWANTON VILLAGE

$1,131.42

5

VT

WILLISTON TOWN

$1,195.96

5

VT

WINDHAM COUNTY

$9,364.01

35

VT

WINDSOR TOWN

$664.12

2

VT

WINHALL TOWN

$1,585.30

5

VT

Totals for VT(34 Jurisdictions):

$86,917.70

280

Press Contact

David Carle: 202-224-3693