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Nation IN BRIEF / WASHINGTON, D.C.

New Law Gives Police $25 Million for Vests

June 17, 1998|From Times Wire Reports

State and local police officers, many of whom buy their own bulletproof vests, will get $25 million in federal help under a grant program signed by President Clinton. The legislation, overwhelmingly approved by Congress last month, sets aside $25 million in each of the next three years for the Justice Department to provide state and local police agencies 50% matching grants to buy vests. According to the FBI, more than 30% of the 1,182 officers killed by guns in the line of duty since 1980 could have been saved by body armor, and the risk of dying from gunfire is 14 times higher for an officer without a bulletproof vest. But the Justice Department estimated that 25% of state and local police are not given vests.

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