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NYC volunteer police to get bulletproof vests after street shootout

The Associated Press
NYPD to start issuing beefed-up vests: 5.5.06

NEW YORK — The city will spend $3.3 million (euro2.5 million) to equip its volunteer police force with bulletproof vests in response to the recent fatal street shootings of two of the officers by a gunman, New York officials said Tuesday.

The Manhattan slayings of Eugene Marshalik and partner Nicholas Todd Pekearo on March 14 were "an awful and cold-blooded crime that shocked our entire city," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference in the precinct stationhouse where the pair worked. "But now we are determined to turn that pain into a force for good."

Marshalik, 19, and Pekearo, 28, were among the city's 4,500 auxiliary officers, volunteers who dress like full-time police but are not armed. Before now, the volunteers also were not provided bulletproof vests, though many bought their own and wore them on patrol.

Marshalik and Pekearo were killed this month in a confrontation with gunman David Garvin as he tried to escape after fatally shooting a bartender in a Greenwich Village restaurant. Full-time New York Police Department officers then killed Garvin.

Pekearo was wearing a bulletproof vest, but it stopped only one of the several shots that struck him, police said.

City officials said it would take nine months to order and outfit the entire auxiliary force with the new vests.

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