The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has begun taking applications from agencies seeking grant funding for body armor with the condition that they have a mandatory wear policy in place to be eligible.
In addition to implementing mandatory wear for the 2011 Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) grant, the NIJ also extended the application deadline to 53 from 30 days.
Under terms of the program, agencies are eligible to purchase NIJ 0101.06 Certified armor. To attain funding, agencies must have a written, official "mandatory wear" policy in place requiring all uniformed staff to wear armor at all times while on duty.
Only armor purchases made after April 1 qualify for this year's funding. Through the BVP program, state and local governmental agencies, as well as tribal governments, are reimbursed up to 50 percent of the cost of each unit of eligible body armor purchased for law enforcement officers.
Agencies are encouraged to consult the International Association of Chiefs of Police's Model Policy on Body Armor, which lists recommendations for developing a mandatory wear policy.