Hoboken, Steven Police to receive nearly $7,000 for new body armor

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The Hoboken and Stevens Institute of Technology Police Departments will be issued nearly $7,000 as part of a statewide program to reimburse municipalities for defective body armor, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs announced. 

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By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The Hoboken Police Department will receive $4,075.35 for new body armor, while the Stevens Police Department is set to be reimbursed $2,860.72 to purchase more vital police gear.

For the basis of comparison, the law enforcement agency receiving the largest sum of the funds is the  New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission – $53,002,17 0 – while the Newton Police Department is getting a check for just $5.29.

The program is set to distribute $173,778.90 to 63 New Jersey law enforcement agencies that purchased defective bulletproof vests made by Second Chance Body Armor, Inc., a manufacturer that filed for bankruptcy in 2004 after it was proven that their product deteriorated over time.

“Police officers put their lives on the line each day to protect and serve us, and we need to do everything in our power to ensure that they are properly equipped for their jobs,” said Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman in a prepared statement.

“We are not going to leave these agencies to foot the bill for defective body armor that put their officers at risk of injury or even death in the line of duty.”

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court has overseen the Second Chance Body Armor case for the better part of the past decade.  One year ago, the State of New Jersey received a Court Order for the distribution of funds and recently received the $173,778.90 payment that is in the process of being distributed.

The Division of Consumer Affairs will distribute the funds to the affected agencies on a pro-rated basis and the departments eligible for funding were not recipients of the New Jersey’s Body Armor Replacement Fund.  The 63 police departments receiving funds are those that confirmed the specific amounts they are still owed.