WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) is proud to co-sponsor a bill that would permanently reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Partnership with an increase of $5 million to raise the investment to $30 million nationally. As the founder and member of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, Senator Coons has continually championed this program that benefits local law enforcement agencies in Delaware and around the county.

“The Bulletproof Vest Partnership is a critical program that highlights the importance of the Federal government benefitting local governments,” said Sen. Coons. “I’ve met with officers whose lives have literally been saved by the vests purchased by the program, and I could not be more proud to continue to advance federal investment for this program.”

Over a million vest have been purchased with this help of this program, and according to the Government Accountability Office, bulletproof vests have saved the lives of more than 3,000 law enforcement officers since 1987. The Bulletproof Vest Partnership has helped provide resources to law enforcement officers in over 13,000 jurisdictions for the purchase of lifesaving vests that their departments may not be able to afford otherwise.  In recent years, demand for bulletproof vests has been outpacing funding for the program.  With state and local law enforcement already struggling under significant budget constraints, it is imperative that Congress continue to invest in this lifesaving program.

Thousands of vests have been purchased by Delaware law enforcement through the partnership over its 20-year history, including over 2,000 in the last five years.  On February 11, 2013, bulletproof vests purchased through the federal Bulletproof Vest Partnership saved the lives of two Capitol Police officers during a shooting at the New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington.  Both officers were struck, but survived because of their vests.