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Bulletproof vest program reauthorization clears Senate

Bulletproof Police VestFrom Press Release

 

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa today said that the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act cleared the Senate.  As chairman, Grassley shepherded the bill through the committee.  The bill included measures proposed by Grassley to increase program accountability and efficient use of resources to maximize its impact for law enforcement officers.

“As the first responders to crime, law enforcement officers encounter many dangerous situations.  This program goes a long way in helping communities protect the lives of their officers,” Grassley said.  “I appreciate Senator Leahy’s willingness to include several of my accountability proposals that will help ensure funds are used in the most effective way to help law enforcement.”

At Grassley’s request, in 2012, the Government Accountability Office released an investigation of the program after reports that the program was administered in a way that did not foster accountability, allowed skirting of program requirements, and reduced effectiveness.  The Government Accountability Office recommended that $27 million of undisbursed funds be deobligated.  The report also outlined several suggestions for the Justice Department that would help ensure greater accountability in the program.

Provisions were included in the bill to address undisbursed funds, the source of the matching funds, mandatory use policies, and a cut in the authorization level. The House of Representatives must now pass the bill before it can be signed into law.