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Schumer: Money needed for bulletproof vests

ALBANY (AP) — Sen. Charles Schumer wants Congress to help local police departments purchase bulletproof vests.

The New York Democrat told reporters Wednesday that he’s supporting a bill that would increase funding for a federal grant program that reimburses local departments for the cost of the vests, which can cost as much as $850 each.

Funding for the program has dropped even as demand for vests rises. The number of vests purchased under the program has dropped from more than 11,000 in 2010 to less than 3,000 last year.

The legislation would increase annual funding for vests by about $8 million, to $30 million.

Schumer said the Senate may vote on the bill next week.