POLICE Magazine Supplements

Ballistic Protection 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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on Caption Caption on Caption ARMORING NYPD VEHICLES On Dec. 20, 2014, New York City po- lice officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were sitting in their patrol car at an intersection in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. e two of- ficers were participating in an anti-ter- rorism exercise when a man opened fire on them through the doors and side windows. Officer Ramos and Officer Liu were killed. Both were posthumous- ly promoted to the rank of detective, per NYPD tradition. e murders of Detective Ramos and Detective Liu and of Officer (Detective) Brian Moore less than six months lat- er spurred NYPD brass to search for a way to make officers safer inside their vehicles. It wasn't the first time that the NYPD had considered adding armor to its patrol cars, but Deputy Commission- er Robert Martinez who commands the NYPD's vehicle fleet operations says the 2014 and 2015 cop killings spurred the department to action. "When you have three officers murdered in their vehicles in a short period of time, something has to be done," he says. What Martinez and then NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton decided to do was armor all patrol vehicles. e NYPD now deploys some 4,000 ar- mored patrol vehicles, all fitted with ballistic door panels and windows from Hardwire. In addition, aer the murder of De- tective Miosotis Familia in the summer of 2017, the NYPD also chose to armor its command vehicles. en Officer Fa- milia was working in a marked com- mand vehicle when a gunman fired one shot through the window, hitting her in the head. Martinez says he knew aer the Fa- milia murder that officers in command posts also needed ballistic protection. He met with the mayor directly and came away with the funding to armor the command vehicles. But that was much easier to say than do. e NYPD has about 70 marked command vehicles, ranging in sizes up to almost 40 feet. And unlike patrol cars, they had to be armored all around because the officers using them move around in them while working. "ey have been armored 360 degrees around from the floorboard to the height of a police officer," Martinez says. e cost of armoring the NYPD's patrol vehicles and command vehicles varies according to type of vehicle and size of vehicle. But Martinez estimates the cost for a standard patrol SUV is be- tween $3,500 and $4,000. at investment could very well save lives if a gunman attacks another NYPD officer inside a patrol vehicle. Fortu- nately, that has not occurred since the agency made the decision to fit its street vehicles with ballistic protection. n B A L L I S T IC PR O T E C T IO N | SP E C I A L R E P O RT | 7

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