At a time when the New York Police Department is encouraging beat cops to be more approachable to law-abiding citizens, it’s also equipping them to do combat with rampaging shooters.
The mass shootings in Orlando, Dallas and elsewhere have prompted the nation’s largest police department to accelerate a $7.5 million program to distribute heavy-duty body armor to uniformed patrol officers who might have to respond.
Some 20,000 helmets are set to be distributed by the end of the year. And the department’s 3,000 patrol cars will begin carrying pairs of heavy-duty vests that officers will put on if dispatched to a report of an active shooter.
Simultaneously, the city’s new police commissioner is championing a neighborhood policing program aimed at bridging the divide between police and minorities.