New York Daily News

Updated: July 26, 2016, 6:24 AM



NYPD spending $7.5M on heavy-duty vests, ballistics helmets for officers


The NYPD's new helmets and vests.  (COREY SIPKIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

NYPD officers are getting heavy-duty vests and ballistic helmets in response to the assassinations of cops in Texas and Louisiana, authorities said Monday.

The $7.5 million expenditure, most of which will be paid for out of the NYPD’s budget, was seen by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor de Blasio as the obvious response to the escalating tensions that have played out in several American cities in recent months.

They made the announcement in front of symbolic location, the 84th Precinct stationhouse, where Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos worked out of when they were executed in Bedford-Stuyvesant in December 2014.

More recently, five cops were killed in Dallas and three more in Baton Rouge, La.

NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio hold press conference on new police equipment and other topics. (COREY SIPKIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

Another officer, part of the response to the gunman who killed 49 at a gay nightclub in Orlando, was shot in his Kevlar helmet but survived.

The 20,000 new helmets will provide similar protection.

“The helmets are very similar to ones worn by U.S. soldiers in combat,” Bratton said.

Commissioner William Bratton and Mayor de Blasio made the announcement in front of symbolic location, fallen Officers Wenjian Liu's and Rafael Ramos' 84th Precinct stationhouse. (COREY SIPKIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

The 6,000 vests -- to be stored in the trunks of each of the department’s 3,000 patrol cars — will give officers an extra layer of protection, to be worn over their existing vests if they respond to active shooter scenarios.

Bratton said a local incident captured on video — a gunman opening fire on responding officers at the Cooper Houses in East Williamsburg on July 17—convinced him the NYPD was not as equipped as it needed to be.

And de Blasio cited another incident — that of two cops in Times Square driving more than a block to prevent a device tossed into their car from killing anyone if it detonated.

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch at a street naming ceremony for NYPD police officer Ronald Becker, Jr. Lynch said the helmets and vests are “ineffective half measures.” (JAMES KEIVOM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

The device was a hoax, but the mayor said the actions of Officer Peter Cybulski and Sgt. Hameed Armani, whom de Blasio welcomed to the podium to congratulate, show a “courage and strength” that need to be rewarded with the best equipment available.

But Pat Lynch, head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the city’s largest police union, said the helmets and vests are “ineffective half measures.”

Lynch last week said in a Daily News column that patrol officers should be equipped with long guns “to counter the immediate threat” of an active shooter.