The Daily News found out that the NYPD discovered that their old bulletproof vests were ending up on criminals and as a result, the city’s contract with the tactical gear supplier Body Amor Outlet was shredded not too long ago.
When NYPD officials learned that the bullet proof vests that were once worn by New York’s Finest ended up on suspected criminals, the contract with Body Armor Outlet based in New Hampshire was canceled by the city.
The city’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services contract with Body Armor Outlet to dispose of the NYPD’s old vests was worth $20,000. As per the contact, Body Armor Outlet had to destroy the bulletproof vests or have them recycled in a way that they could not be used in an illegal manner.
However, Body Armor Outlet resold a number of the bullet proof vests on eBay, which included some that were uncovered during arrests.
In November the city’s Department of Investigation was notified by the NYPD about the vests that were recovered and according to sources, this lead to the agency opening an investigation.
A cease-and-desist letter was sent to Body Armor Outlet a month later by the NYPD, which ordered the company to stop selling the old NYPD bullet proof vests on sites like eBay.
Body Armor Outlet also met with investigators from the city and they offered to stop reselling the bullet proof vests and will dispose of them according to NYPD guidelines. Even so, the investigators from the city did not recommend that the DCAS renew Body Armor Outlet’s contract or provide any new contracts to the company to dispose of old vests.
They NYPD and DCAS also immediately canceled the current contract, which was coming to an end in May.
In a Daily News statement, the NYPD stated that New York City contracted Body Armor Outlet to destroy the old bullet-resistant vests in a way that they cannot be used for illegal purposes.
The investigators at the DOI also forwarded the case to the office of Manhattan district attorney for possible criminal prosecution as per the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services documents.
However, the DA’s office didn’t proceed with prosecution because of the loosely written language in the contract, which allowed for a wide interpretation of the meaning of the word “recycling”.
Raymond Bellia, president of Body Armor Outlet, has not made any comments yet.