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Legislation would provide more bulletproof vests for police

U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, cosponsored legislation this week that would provide state and local governments in Minnesota and around the country with additional funding to purchase body armor for law enforcement.

The legislation, sponsored by Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), would reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Program, which provided more than $430,000 to Minnesota last fiscal year, allowing nearly 140 jurisdictions to purchase more than 1,400 bulletproof vests, according to Justice Department data.

This week, Sen. Franken and his colleagues on the Judiciary Committee will consider the bill.

"Because of bulletproof vests and body armor, law enforcement officials across Minnesota get to go home and tuck their kids in at night," said Sen. Franken. "I'm an ardent supporter of continuing the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program because it helps get our officers the equipment they need to stay safe."

During a Judiciary Committee hearing on the bill last year, Sen. Franken recounted the story of Fairmont police officer Chad Sanow, whose life was saved by a bulletproof vest. Sen. Franken said the story highlighted the importance of continuing the BVP Grant Program.

You can watch Sen. Franken's remarks from last year's Judiciary Committee hearing here.

Sen. Franken also cosponsored the bill to reauthorize the program when it was introduced last Congress. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is also a cosponsor of the bill.