(Reuters) - The New York City Police Department has acquired $7 million in military-style protective equipment for patrol officers in response to recent shooting attacks on police in Baton Rouge and Dallas earlier this month, officials said on Monday.
“You name it, we’re buying it,” Police Commissioner William Bratton told a news conference. “There’s not a police department in America that is spending as much money, as much thought and interest on this issue of officer safety.”
Bratton said the NYPD has purchased 20,000 military-style helmets, 6,000 heavy duty bullet-proof vests, trauma kits and ballistic doors and windows for patrol cars.
He said the new bullet-proof vests are capable of stopping rounds fired from the type of weapon used in the Baton Rouge shooting that killed three officers and the Dallas shooting that left five officers dead and seven wounded.
“Obviously all over the country people have been deeply trouble by the attack on our officers,” added Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We made this decision quickly in light of the challenges we face.”
Special units are already equipped with protective gear like the upgraded equipment. Because patrol officers are likely to respond to active shooting situations, they will begin carrying the new equipment starting in September, according to police officials.
In recent weeks, major police departments across the country have been implementing new patrol tactics for officers in the wake of racial tension plaguing various cities.
Nearly half of the police departments in the 30 biggest U.S. cities issued directives after the Dallas attack requiring patrol officers to pair up while on duty.
Reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Dan Grebler