Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, welcomed news that the Senate Committee on the Judiciary considered and favorably reported S. 125, the “Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Program Reauthorization Act,” and S. 665, the “Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act,” by voice vote.
“These two bills are key pieces of the FOP’s Officer Safety Agenda, which we outlined earlier this year, and we’re so grateful to Senator Leahy for all of his work on both bills, but especially the BVP,” Canterbury said. “And of course, we sincerely appreciate Chairman Grassley’s making good on his word to move these bills early in the year. Without his efforts, it was likely both bills would have been pushed off until next month.”
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 legislation favorably reported by the Committee today would reauthorize the program through 2020.
The “Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act,” would provide for local, regional, and national dissemination of time sensitive information that would help apprehend a suspect accused of killing, kidnapping, seriously wounding, or who may pose an imminent and credible threat to a law enforcement officer.
The Interim Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing recommended the establishment of a National Blue Alert System and the re-authorization of the BVP program.
The Committee considered both bills on a single vote and four Senators requested that their vote be recorded as “Nay.” They are: Senators Jeffry L. Flake (R-AZ), Michael S. Lee (R-UT), David A. Perdue (R-GA) and Jefferson B. Sessions III (R-AL).