AP NEWS

Trump reauthorizes bulletproof vest program named for Leahy

May 24, 2019

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — President Donald Trump has signed legislation that permanently reauthorizes a program that helps buy bulletproof vests for police officers.

The program now known as the “The Patrick Leahy Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program,” was conceived by the Democratic Vermont senator.

It’s believed to have saved the lives of countless officers since its launch 20 years ago after a 1997 killing spree that began in Colebrook, New Hampshire, and ended in Vermont after a man shot and killed two New Hampshire state police troopers, a judge and a newspaper editor. The troopers weren’t wearing bulletproof vests.

Leahy says that vests are often too expensive for small jurisdictions.

The program has provided 13,000 law enforcement agencies with 1.35 million vests.

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This story has been corrected to show that the program is estimated to have saved the lives of “countess” officers since 1997 rather than 3,000.

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