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New Law: Bulletproof Vests For All Illinois Officers

Updated: Saturday, July 19 2014, 01:37 AM CDT
ILLINOIS --

The Law Enforcement Officer Bulletproof Vest Act, signed into law this past week by Governor Quinn is twofold; it mandates that police departments purchase vests for all officers and requires government agencies to apply for federal money. Officers we spoke to today say it's a good move.



"There are law enforcement officers throughout the country who are shot and saved by ballistic vests so I think it's just a great idea to require police officers to wear vests ", says Peter Buckley of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.



Sponsors of the bill say various police departments are more and more cash strapped and can't necessarily afford the vests for each officer, especially those in smaller towns.



Rep. Kelly Burke says "officers are wearing vests. It's to make sure they have the equipment that is the best for them and is up to date and under warranty".



Authorities say even those agencies that have bulletproof vests may not have enough for each officer and if they do, they may be outdated. Deputy Chief Buckley says the vests aren't cheap. They could cost on average about $1000.00.



"When I first started 30 years ago, there were some agencies that didn’t have the money to pay for bulletproof vests so they required their officers to pay for their own. So at that time it was a difficult expense for officers to purchase bulletproof vests ", Buckley says.



Buckley also says all police departments in Douglas County have vests for each officer.



But in towns that don’t, the new law provides federal reimbursement for up to half of the cost.



"What this does is it shifts part of the burden that had been picked up by the State Of Illinois to federal grants and this cost sharing measure will help provide more bulletproof vests to officers throughout Illinois", says David Blanchette, a spokesperson for Governor Quinn.

New Law: Bulletproof Vests For All Illinois Officers


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