In the wake of the fatal shootings of two NYPD volunteers earlier this month, New York City is planning to spend $3.3 million to equip its auxiliary officers with ballistic vests.
At a news conference announcing the decision, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the murders of unarmed auxiliary officers Eugene Marshalik, 19, and Nicholas Todd Pekearo, 28, were "an awful and cold-blooded crime that shocked our entire city, but now we are determined to turn that pain into a force for good."
There are 4,500 auxiliary officers who work with the NYPD. They wear NYPD uniforms, but they are not armed. They are currently not issued ballistic vests, though many buy their own and wear them on duty.
Pekearo was wearing a vest when he was gunned down at close range by David Garvin, but it offered little protection. He was hit with seven rounds and only one was stopped by the vest.
It will take nine months to outfit the entire auxiliary force with the new vests.