State funding helps equip officers with bulletproof vests

By Anna Norris
By Caroline Goggin

August 28, 2014 Updated Aug 29, 2014 at 6:13 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was in Binghamton Thursday to announce more than a dozen law enforcement agencies in the area will now have better protection.

The state will help purchase 175 bulletproof vests for 14 agencies in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions.

The money is awarded through the attorney general’s inVEST Partnership, a program that helps law enforcement agencies across the state buy bulletproof vests for officers.

"The federal government dropped the ball. They used to pay for half of them," said Binghamton Police Chief Joseph Zikuski. "They let 80 percent, which is my understanding, of the program fall to the wayside. So this is a financial burden that the city is not going to have to pick up. We were counting on it in the budget and then the funds dried up."

The National Institute of Justice estimates that bulletproof vests have saved the lives of more than 3,000 officers in the past 20 years.

 The breakdown of the awards is as follows:

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