The Associated Press
ALBANY, N.Y. — Following a year when a half-dozen troopers were shot, two fatally, State Police are getting stronger body armor, handguns and other new equipment.
Acting Superintendent Preston Felton has ordered officers on patrol to wear the bullet-resistant vests that previously were optional.
Felton said he didn't know how much all the new equipment will cost. He acknowledged some items are expensive, but noted the governor and lawmakers have been supportive and if one life is saved it's important.
The equipment changes follow ongoing internal safety reviews and meetings with troopers' and investigators' unions. They include .45-caliber handguns that have replaced the 9 millimeter sidearms.
Also, troopers are getting collapsible batons, defibrillators for all marked patrol cars, new light bars atop cars, and bright yellow reflective vests for highway work.
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They're also getting fire suppression systems similar to those in race cars in all new Crown Victorias, and two Bearcat armored vehicles that cost about $250,000 each.