Senator Valesky Encourages Local Police to Apply for Funds to Combat Heroin, Buy Protective Vests

David J. Valesky

July 24, 2014

SYRACUSE – Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) is urging law enforcement agencies to apply for state grants from the Community Overdose Prevention (COP) program and the inVEST Partnership, both administered by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). COP provides trainings and equipment in the fight against heroin through the use of nasally administered naloxone. The inVEST Partnership provides funding for the purchase of lifesaving protective vests.

“Administering naloxone to a drug user experiencing an overdose can save that person’s life,” Sen. Valesky said. “Police are often first to arrive at a scene, and it’s imperative that they have the tools and expertise they need to be able to temporarily reverse the effects of an overdose before medical help arrives.”

“As we continue to crack down on the heroin abuse epidemic in our state, my office’s Community Overdose Prevention program is designed to equip law enforcement with a powerful tool to help save lives,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “I thank Senator Valesky for his leadership in encouraging local law enforcement agencies to sign on to this program. It should be our collective goal to help local law enforcement save lives and  keep our communities safe.”

The OAG has extended its deadline for the COP program to September 1 so that more local departments could apply for funds. COP will reimburse agencies for the cost of providing one full naloxone kit to each officer as well as the cost of training officers in the proper use of the medicine. Each kit consists of two vials of naloxone, two mucosal atomization devices for nasal administration, one pair of latex gloves and a booklet on the use of the drug. A full kit costs about $60 and is good for two years, if kept at room temperature.

The OAG also administers the inVEST Partnership, a $3.5 million funding program dedicated to assisting New York State law enforcement agencies with the purchase of vital and lifesaving bulletproof vests. As part of the program, the OAG will provide selected agencies with up to 50 percent matching funds to purchase new vests. Law enforcement agencies in New York State in need of new or replacement bulletproof vests are encouraged to apply to the inVEST Partnership via the on-line application or call 518-650-1653 with questions.

“Police officers place themselves on the front lines of dangerous incidents every day,” Sen. Valesky said. “I hope every law enforcement agency takes advantage of this program to ensure the safety of their officers. I am appreciative of the Attorney General for recognizing how vital this outreach is and making sure all departments have ample opportunity to apply for funds.”

“Every day in communities all across New York, the brave men and women serving in our police departments put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “We have an obligation to do everything in our power to protect those who are sworn to protect us. The inVEST Partnership will arm officers across our state with lifesaving vests they might not otherwise have, adding a critical layer of safety to one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.”