WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Senate has agreed to provide $25 million to help state and local law enforcement agencies buy bulletproof vests.
The legislation, passed by a voice vote on Tuesday, authorizes a 50 percent matching grant program within the Justice Department aimed at assisting law enforcement agencies that cannot afford the $500 to $700 cost of a bulletproof vest.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who sponsored the bill with Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., cited FBI figures that more than 30 percent of the 1,182 police officers killed by firearms in the line of duty since 1980 could have been saved if they had been wearing body armor.
``Danger can strike at any time in police work, even during routine traffic stops,″ Leahy said. ``These vests save lives.″
The bill must still be considered by the House.