canterburyChuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, applauded Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), Ranking Member of the Committee on the Judiciary, for the passage of S.125, the “Bulletproof Vest Partnership Reauthorization Act.”

“I am very grateful and very proud of Senator Leahy for his work in moving this bill to the Senate floor that ultimately led to its passage and Senator Graham played a key role in winning support for the bill in his caucus,” Canterbury said. “With National Police Week approaching next week, this is a great victory for law enforcement.”

“Next week, the National Fraternal Order of Police will honor 117 officers who died in the line of duty. There is no legislation, no government, no grant or public-private partnership that can erase the sad fact that law enforcement officers will be killed in the line of duty,” Canterbury said. “But this program does save lives.”

The Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) grant program provides matching Federal funds to State and local law enforcement agencies allowing them to purchase or upgrade the soft body armor worn by their officers. More than one million vests have been bought through this program, which has greatly increased the safety of officers on the beat.

The first certified “save”–that is, a shooting that would have resulted in the death of an officer but for the use of soft body armor–was in December 1975. Since that time, more than 3,100 officers have been certified as saved by their bullet-resistant vest.

“That’s 3,100 law enforcement officers who went home to their families and 3,100 fewer names on the Wall of Remembrance at Judiciary Square,” Canterbury Said. “How many other Federal programs can quantify their success so starkly?”

The legislation will now be transmitted to the House for further action.