“There is not a police department in America that is spending as much money and has as much thought and interest on this issue of officer safety,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Monday at the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn.
The 84th Precinct was where officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were stationed. The two officers were killed in 2014 as they sat in their patrol car, shot by a deranged man who traveled to the city from a Baltimore suburb specifically to kill cops.
“We believe that was the beginning of the period of time in which we have seen significantly increased attacks and assassinations on American police officers,” Bratton said.
Chief of Department James O’Neill explained the new safety equipment is necessary because NYPD officers are the first responders in an active shooter situation.
“We know that patrol cops would be the first on the scene in the event of an active shooter situation,” he said. “That’s just the reality of it.”
The new equipment is part of $1.9 billion the city has invested over the past three years in the NYPD.
“We strongly believe that the new equipment, the training and the technology that NYPD officers have received over the last 31 months is making the job safer for them, their fellow cops, and most of all for the public that we serve,” O’Neill said.
At the announcement, Mayor Bill de Blasio recognized Sergeant Hameed Armani and Officer Peter Cybulski, who were near Columbus Circle last week when a Queens man threw a fake bomb into their police vehicle.
“Their first impulse was to immediately drive away from a crowded area to protect the lives of others with absolutely no regard for their own lives,” de Blasio said. “This takes extraordinary courage and strength.”