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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 837-D
Soft body ballistic armor vests for police officers
Executive (EXC) CHAPTER 18, ARTICLE 35
§ 837-d. Soft body ballistic armor vests for police officers. 1. As
used in this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

(a) "Eligible police officer" means a police officer as defined in
subdivision thirty-four of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law
whose regular duties are such as the commissioner determines may expose
the officer to serious physical injury which may result in death or
disability;

(b) "Vest" means a soft body ballistic armor vest;

(c) "Municipal corporation" means a county, city, town, village or
police district;

(d) "Public authority" means an independent autonomous public
corporation created by special act of the legislature;

(e) "Public benefit corporation" means a corporation organized to
construct or operate a public improvement wholly within the state;

(f) "State agency" means a department, board, bureau, commission,
agency or other division of state government;

(g) "Applicant" means a state agency, municipal corporation, public
authority, public benefit corporation, or the highest official thereof.

2. An applicant which is authorized to and employs police officers may
apply to the commissioner for reimbursement of funds expended for the
purchase of vests for eligible police officers.

3. Reimbursement shall be made only for vests which at the time of
purchase meet or exceed the minimum standards and specifications in
effect on that date as prescribed by rules and regulations promulgated
pursuant to subdivisions six and six-a of this section, and shall be
limited to the total amount appropriated for such purpose. Reimbursement
for any vest shall not exceed an amount which in the judgment of the
commissioner would be the cost of a vest conforming to minimum standards
and specifications in effect at the time the vest was purchased.
Selection of vests shall be a determination to be made by the applicant
in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the
commissioner. Such rules and regulations shall provide that, subject to
the provisions of subdivisions six and six-a of this section, the
applicant may select from a range of vests including those commonly
known or classified as type I, type II-A, type II or type III-A in such
standard classification systems as the national institute of justice
standards for ballistic resistance of police body armor.

4. The commissioner shall require any applicant seeking reimbursement
for vests to apply for any available federal funds. Any applicant
failing to do so shall not be entitled to reimbursement under this
section. The commissioner may waive such failure for good cause. The
commissioner shall maintain a public record of all such waivers and the
reasons therefor. Reimbursement may be withheld pending the
determination of an application for federal funds.

4-a. An applicant for reimbursement pursuant to this section shall
report the name of each eligible police officer for whom reimbursement
is sought. The applicant shall report whether such eligible police
officer or officers have, at any time during the ten years immediately
preceding the application for reimbursement, been provided with any
other vest for which reimbursement pursuant to this section was
provided, the date of any such prior reimbursement and any other
information that the commissioner may require for accurate
record-keeping and accountability and for evaluation of performance,
wear and officer use of vests.

5. The amount of any reimbursement authorized to be made pursuant to
subdivision three of this section shall be reduced by the amount of any
federal funds granted to the applicant for the purpose of purchasing
vests, and by the amount of any other funds received directly or
indirectly for that purpose by the applicant.

6. The commissioner shall promulgate regulations prescribing standards
and specifications for vests and procedures for vest selection by and
reimbursement to applicants. In promulgating such regulations, the
commissioner shall give due consideration to:

(a) the maximum total weight of a vest which provides adequate
protection against ballistic penetration and trauma, and which may be
worn in comfort throughout an eight hour tour of duty;

(b) the ballistic specifications which the vest or any part thereof
must be capable of defeating which shall include, but not be limited to,
the ballistic specifications of any firearms considered to be standard
issue to eligible police officers;

(c) the testing procedures appropriate to determining the
effectiveness of such vests;

(d) the labeling requirements for the vests and component parts
thereof; and

(e) the commercial availability of conforming vests.

6-a. In the evaluation of an application for reimbursement, the
commissioner shall, at the request of the applicant, give consideration
to the ballistic specifications of any firearm or firearms considered by
the applicant to be standard issue to its police officers.

7. The contract specifications for bid for the sale of vests shall
require that a certificate of insurance evidencing that liability
insurance providing a minimum coverage of at least five hundred thousand
dollars per occurrence for injury or death suffered as a result of a
defect in the manufacture shall be and remain in effect for the
projected life of any vest purchased.

8. Neither the state nor the applicant or any employee thereof shall
be liable to a police officer or officer's heirs, executors,
administrators or assigns, for the death of or injury to the officer
resulting from any defect or deficiency in a vest for which
reimbursement is made pursuant to this section.

9. A police officer who suffers an injury or death as a result of the
officer's failure to wear a vest for which reimbursement is made
pursuant to this section, and officer's heirs, executors, administrators
or assigns shall not suffer any loss or be denied any benefit or right
to which they are otherwise entitled; provided, however, that nothing
contained herein shall prevent the officer from being subject to a
disciplinary proceeding for failure to obey a lawful order of a superior
officer requiring the officer to wear a vest.

10. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit
an applicant from expending its own funds for vests in amounts exceeding
the established state reimbursement limitations.

11. The commissioner is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations
to provide for the orderly effectuation of the provisions of this
section.

12. The commissioner shall establish and maintain a record containing
the name of each eligible police officer who receives a vest for which
reimbursement has been provided pursuant to this section, the applicant
to whom reimbursement for such vest is provided, the date on which such
reimbursement was provided and any other information that the
commissioner may require for accurate record-keeping and accountability
and for evaluation of performance, wear and officer use of vests.

13. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to supersede the
provisions of section three of chapter eight hundred seventy-six of the
laws of nineteen hundred eighty applicable to members of the division of
state police or to alter a valid labor-management agreement covering
employees of the state serving in police officer positions in the
security services negotiating unit established pursuant to article
fourteen of the civil service law which is in effect on the effective
date of this section.