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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release April 16, 1999
                        VICE PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES

Washington, D.C. -- Vice President Gore announced today a new Internet-based system to provide $25 million to states, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to help them purchase bullet-resistant vests for their public safety officers.

The new system, launched by the Department of Justice, will allow officers across the country to register and apply to receive half the cost of bullet-resistant vests.

"The Justice Department is using cutting edge technology to protect the lives of those who endeavor to keep our communities safe," said Vice President Gore. "As we enter the 21st Century, it is important that we use all of the resources at our disposal to do things better, faster and more effectively, and nothing is more important than public safety."

This program was authorized by the Bulletproof Vest Grant Partnership Act of 1998. The legislation, which President Clinton signed at a Rose Garden ceremony on June 16, 1998, was the result of a bipartisan effort spearheaded by Senators Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado and Congressmen Pete Visclosky of Indiana and Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey. The Act authorizes $25 million for Fiscal Years 1999 through 2001.

"It is critically important to protect the officers who protect America," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "Making this program available over the Internet will enable the Justice Department to reach communities more efficiently and in the process help better protect our nation's officers."

The website through which vests can be ordered can be accessed at: