The Patrick Leahy Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP), created by the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act of 1998 is a unique U.S. Department of Justice initiative designed to provide a critical resource to state and local law enforcement.
ONE MILLION VESTS: Since 1999, the BVP program has awarded more than 13,000 jurisdictions a total of $522 million in federal funds for the purchase of over one million vests (1,441,013) as of November 2020.
NEW: The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is pleased to announce the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 BVP application funding period. Applications for FY 2021 BVP funds will be accepted beginning April 29, 2021. All applications must be submitted online by 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Time), June 14, 2021. A SAM registration is required for 2021 BVP applicants.
NEW: The Fiscal Year 2020 BVP awards have been announced. See the complete list of FY 2020 BVP awards.
System for Award Management (SAM) Registration Requirement: Jurisdictions must be registered in SAM in order to receive access to FY 2018-2020 BVP award funds. Jurisdictions not registered with SAM are strongly encouraged to access the SAM website at https://www.sam.gov/SAM/ as soon as possible in order to obtain information on and complete the online SAM registration process. For more information about renewing and updating your existing SAM registration, or registering in SAM as a new entity, please visit https://fsd.gov/fsd-gov/answer.do?sysparm_number=KB0011081. The SAM Helpdesk can be reached at 866-606-8220.
Documentation Requirement: Grantees are required to keep documentation to support the BVP vest application and payment requests for at least a three year period.
Other Federal Funds: Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) funds or other federal funding sources may not be used to pay for that portion of the bullet proof vest (50%) that is not covered by BVP funds. JAG or other federal funds may be used to purchase vests for an agency, but they may not be used as the 50% match for BVP purposes.
Uniquely Fitted Armor Vest Requirement – Jurisdictions receiving funding for reimbursement of body armor purchases must have in place a uniquely fitted vest requirement when the FY 2019 BVP applications are submitted.
In the BVP Program, “uniquely fitted vests” means protective (ballistic or stab-resistant) armor vests that conform to the individual wearer to provide the best possible fit and coverage, through a combination of:
- 1) correctly-sized panels and carrier, determined through appropriate measurement, and
- 2) properly adjusted straps, harnesses, fasteners, flaps, or other adjustable features.
The requirement that body armor be “uniquely fitted” does not necessarily require body armor that is individually manufactured based on the measurements of an individual wearer. In support of the Office of Justice Programs’ efforts to improve officer safety, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International has made available the Standard Practice for Body Armor Wearer Measurement and Fitting of Armor (Active Standard ASTM E3003) available at no cost. The Personal Armor Fit Assessment checklist, is excerpted from ASTM E3003.
In addition, a certification section has been added to the 2019 application (in the BVP system) stating the jurisdictions and law enforcement agency are aware of and will comply with this requirement.
NEW! UPDATED Mandatory Wear FAQs
Following two years of declining law enforcement officer line-of-duty deaths, the country realized a dramatic 37 percent increase in officer deaths in 2010. Fifty-nine of the 160 officers killed in 2010 were shot during violent encounters; a 20 percent increase over 2009 numbers.
The U.S. Department of Justice is committed to improving officer safety and has undertaken research to review and analyze violent encounters and law enforcement officer deaths and injuries.
Due to the increase in the number of law enforcement officer deaths, coupled with our renewed efforts to improve officer safety, beginning with FY 2011, in order to receive BVP funds, jurisdictions must certify, during the application process, that all law enforcement agencies benefitting from the BVP Program have a written “mandatory wear” policy in effect. This policy must be in place for at least all uniformed officers before any FY 2011 funding can be used by the agency. There are no requirements regarding the nature of the policy other than it being a mandatory wear policy for all uniformed officers while on duty.
BJA strongly encourages agencies to consult the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s Model Policy on Body Armor and to strongly consider all recommendations within that policy. This policy change was announced in October 2010 by Attorney General Holder after consulting with and receiving input from the law enforcement community.
The IACP has very generously provided both its Body Armor Model Policy and position paper to the BVP program. In order to obtain a copy of the Model Policy and position paper, jurisdictions must be registered with the BVP program. To obtain a copy of the Model Policy, contact the BVP Customer Support Center at 1-877-758-3787 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information regarding this new BVP program requirement, click here.