Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Body Armor for Law Enforcement Officers: In Brief

"Firearms are one of the leading causes of deaths for law enforcement officers feloniously killed in the line of duty ... Since FY1999, Congress has provided funding to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to help them purchase armor vests for their officers through the Matching Grant Program for Law Enforcement Armor Vests (also referred to as the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Initiative, hereinafter “the BPV program”). Congress is considering legislation that would reauthorize the program through FY2018. S. 933, the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2013, would, among other things, reauthorize the BPV program until FY2018" (p. 1). This report provides an overview of the BPV program and covers issues relevant to a debate regarding the reauthorization of BPV. Sections following a summary are: background; Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2013 (S. 933); authorization and appropriations; the use of armor vests by law enforcement; the life cycle of armor vests; effectiveness of armor vests; and selected issues for Congress.