New York City Council members are ready to commit $7.3 million to the NYPD for new bulletproof vests in next year’s city budget.
At about $600 per vest, the City Council would pay for at least 10,000 new vests, with additional vests a priority in subsequent years.
“We must ensure that the brave men and women of the NYPD have all the resources they need to stay safe when they are out protecting New Yorkers,” Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said in a statement.
The New York Daily News and DNAinfo over the weekend that Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association delegates demanded President Pat Lynch ratchet down his feud with de Blasio and focus officer safety — including new flak jackets.
In 2006, the Council and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg approved $12 million to buy the police 18,000 new vests over two years.
Currently, officers must pay $400 out of pocket to replace outdated vests.
De Blasio told reporters on Wednesday new vests for all cops are a priority for the administration.
“Everything that’s been put on the table there – vests, vehicles – those are all valid issues that we want to find solutions on,” the mayor said.
Both de Blasio and Mark-Viverito have been criticized by police union leadership for supporting policing reforms on stop-and-frisk and oversight groups.
A PBA memo first reported by Metro in December was circulated by members to disinvite the mayor and speaker from police funerals.
PBA President Patrick Lynch said the union was grateful for the investment to update the vests, but said it would work with City Hall to create permanent funding for vests.
“It is essential to our members’ safety,” Lynch said in a statement