Earlier this year, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city would budget $10 million to retrofit the city’s fleet of 3,800 patrol cars with bullet-resistant window inserts following the 2014 deaths of two officers shot in their squad car. Now, that budget has been pushed to also include the retrofit of mobile command units.
According to The Washington Post, all marked and unmarked units were to be upgraded with “inch-thick bullet-resistant glass and armored door panels” that are capable of withstanding rounds from a .44 Magnum.
However, the original measure did not include retrofitting the city’s mobile command units. Following the fatal shooting of NYPD 12-year veteran Miosotis Familia in early July, the state Senate, led by Majority Leader John Flanagan and Sen. Martin Golden, announced it would allocate an additional $4 million from the original 2017-2018 budget to include the retrofit of 72 command units. The grant money comes from the Senate as well as the Municipal Assistance capital program.
Familia was killed in the Bronx by ex-con Alexander Bonds while she sat in one of the city’s mobile command units early July 5.
N.Y. Senator Phil Boyle has also introduced a bill that would amend the state’s finance law and tax law in order to establish a police officer protection fund which would go directly to retrofitting New York’s patrol cars with bullet-resistant glass and then move on to retrofit the state’s police cars. Taxpayers would have the option to make a contribution on their personal income tax return.
“We provide police offers with bullet proof vests to protect them when they are on the streets patrolling. We should give them equal protection when they are in their patrol cars. This bill accomplishes that goal,” Boyle says in his bill introduction. “Bulletproof windows are one common sense and appropriate step in ensuring our police officers have the protection they need and deserve as they risk their lives to serve and protect the citizens of our state.”
It’s not stated who the supplier of the bullet-resistant glass is, but about 2,200 patrol cars have already been retrofitted. The replacement windows also do not have the capability to be rolled up or down, and are very heavy, said James Monahan, owner of Madison Avenue Armor, a company that outfits vehicles with bullet-resistant panel, to a local news station.