NEW YORK — In the wake of recent shootings and police casualties, the NYPD plans to increase security for their officers by giving out new ballistic vests and helmets this fall, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton said Monday.
Around 6,000 ballistic vests and 20,000 ballistic helmets will be given to select groups of officers starting in September.
The new vests are heavy duty and are meant to prevent another deadly shooting.
Officers wear vests regularly, but the ballistic vests are rated a step higher and provide even greater protection in the face of danger, especially when worn on top of the standard issue vest, according to Bratton.
The helmets that officers will receive are similar to the helmet that saved an officer’s life in the Orlando shooting last month, according to Bratton. They provide the same level of protection as helmets worn in combat by U.S. soldiers.
More vests and helmets will be given to more officers as the manufacturer makes them available, Bratton added.
The vests and helmets are not for everyday use and officers will not wear them when monitoring peaceful demonstrations, he said.
Within the last three years, the city has spent approximately $1.9 billion for training and new equipment, de Blasio said, and this new equipment is part of that expenditure.
Other new equipment includes trauma kits and ballistic doors and windows on select patrol cars.
Bratton said they have made the decision to move forward with ballistic doors, but bullet proof windows are still under consideration.
He explained that the exact cost and logistics of installing the windows is up in the air due to the fact that it is not feasible to install bullet proof windows in all patrol cars.
It will take several months for more officers to receive the helmets and vests and de Blasio said prioritization of which precincts and squads receive the new equipment will be handled by Chief of Department James O’Neill.