Bay Ridge

Gentile pushed council to fund bulletproof vests for cops

January 21, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilmember Vincent Gentile says the City Council is “a staunch supporter of the NYPD.” Eagle photo by Paula Katinas
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Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who led a drive back in 2006 to secure funding to outfit 18,000 New York City cops with new bulletproof vests, praised a proposal announced last week by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to replace the vests with new ones.

Under the plan announced by Mark-Viverito, the city’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget would allocate $7.3 million to replace existing bulletproof vests for the NYPD at a cost of approximately $600 per vest. Fiscal year 2016 begins on July 1, 2015.

The funds will help ensure that the NYPD continues to have the most advanced and effective technology, according to Gentile, who is a supporter of Mayor Bill de Blasio and also has a reputation as a pro-cop elected official.

Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) led the charge nine years ago, successfully advocating for $12 million for new bulletproof vests, and was one of the lawmakers pushing the legislative body to take action now.

“New York City’s police force is unparalleled and we owe it to our officers to ensure they have the resources they need to stay safe as they protect New Yorkers,” said Gentile, who is also a former assistant district attorney.

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Gentile called the effort to update the bullet-proof vests a “lifesaving initiative.”

When Gentile ran for re-election to the council in 2013, he was endorsed by all of the major police unions, who praised his support for funding for bullet-proof vests, his work on behalf of police precincts in his district and his work to secure funding for security cameras on local commercial strips.

The latest effort to purchase bulletproof vests is part of the council’s plan to ensure that “the brave men and women of the NYPD have all the resources they need to stay safe when they are out protecting New Yorkers,” Mark-Viverito said in a statement.

In other public safety news, Gentile said concerns are growing in communities like Bay Ridge over large numbers of young people in New York City overdosing on heroin and other drugs.

To help deal with the situation, Gentile has organized a free seminar to demonstrate how to use Naloxone, a drug commonly known as Narcan. The medication is used by health care providers to counter the effects of overdoses. Narcan can quickly revive a person suffering the effects of a heroin overdose, Gentile said. 

The seminar will take place on Jan. 28, at McKinkey Intermediate School, 7301 Fort Hamilton Parkway, at 7 p.m.

Last year, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman started a $1.2 million initiative to equip and train state and local police officers with Narcan Kits. The initiative provided 19,500 doses of Naloxone to cops throughout the five boroughs.

At the Jan. 28 seminar, residents will learn all about Narcan, as well as how to recognize and respond to an overdose. Little training is required to safely administer Narcan, Gentile said.

For more information, call Gentile’s office at 718-748-5200.


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