The Department of Justice will allocate $56 million to protect law enforcement officials across the country, acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker said Wednesday.
The breakdown includes $29 million to reimburse agencies for up to 50 percent of the cost of body armor vests; $12 million for safety and wellness research and services, and $12.2 million to support the implementation of body-worn camera programs.
An additional $2 million will be used to address health and wellness priorities, including the development of ballistic vests, studies of vehicle safety and the evaluation of less-than-lethal technology to improve public safety.
“This is just a small way of saying thank you to the officers who take care of us every day,” Mr. Whitaker said while addressing law enforcement officers in New York. “We understand the sacrifices that you make — and so we want you to have the right equipment and the right training.”
Mr. Whitaker delivered remarks to members of New York’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. The acting attorney general told officers they need to remain vigilant from the threat of terrorists.
“I want to assure all of you that this work remains the top priority of the Department of Justice,” he said. “We will not let up.”
Mr. Whitaker concluded his speech with a nod to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom he replaced earlier this month. He told officers the Justice Department has their backs, a refrain Mr. Sessions used to end his remarks to law enforcement.
“I want to conclude with something a mentor of mine used to say every time he spoke to law enforcement, and I believe it too: We have your back and you have our thanks,” he said.