Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently gave the Rockville Centre Police Department $4,000 to help pay for new bulletproof vests. The money is part of a $1.4 million grant that reimburses police officers in New York City and Long Island for half of the cost of a new vest.
“It’s half more than we had,” said Charles Gennario, Rockville Centre police commissioner.
The money is part of a grant to buy new bulletproof vests for police departments. It’s part of the Attorney General’s inVEST partnership, which helps New York state police departments buy bulletproof vests.
“In this time of fiscal crisis, we have to scramble to make ends meet,” Gennario said.
The official statement said the RVCPD will be able to buy 10 vests, but Gennario said the number is closer to 14, as vests cost $600 to $800. The RVCPD provides vests to new police recruits, but individual officers have to pay for a replacement – although sometimes they get help from the Police Benevolent Association.
“It’s a good program,” said Gennario. “It helps with new members.”
Since 1999, the federal government has paid for half of the cost of vests through the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act – but grants for New York have significantly decreased since 2010. Rockville Centre has only received six federal grants for vests since the program started in 1999 – the last was in 2012.
“Each and every day, the members of the Rockville Centre Police Department risk their safety in order to protect the health and safety of each and every resident here in the village,” said Mayor Francis X. Murray. “Our police officers answer emergency calls at all hours of the day and night, never knowing what they are about to confront. These life-saving vests provide a critical layer of safety to officers that provide invaluable service for our community.”