PATERSON, NJ – A measure spearheaded by Congressman Bill Pascrell to make funding for the lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Program, a federal program that helps state and local law enforcement agencies purchase bulletproof vests for officers working in the field, permanent has been signed into law by President Donald Trump.

According to Pascrell, co-chair of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, the legislation, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 400 – 9 earlier this month.

Saying he and other supporters “worked vigorously to pass our legislation through Congress during National Police Week so that our brave law enforcement officers could access these lifesaving resources,” Pascrell added that he is proud to have helped move the bill while promising to “continue to push for similar legislation that keeps our first responders safe.”

Sign Up for E-News

Since its inception in 1999 the BVP program has awarded more than 13,000 jurisdictions a total of $467 million in federal funds for the purchase of over 1.3 million vests, including in Paterson where more than $27,000 has helped in the acquisition of 323 vests.

Citing statistics that show law enforcement officers are 14 times more likely to die on the job when they are not wearing a vest Paterson Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale thanked Pascrell for being a “champion” when it comes to supporting police officers.

“We are eternally grateful that (Pascrell) continues to fight for us.” Speziale said. “And for helping to keep our officers alive.”