Government

Chief Cecile Says Syracuse Police In Serious Need of Updated Emergency Equipment

First Deputy Chief Joseph L. Cecile spoke to the Common Council about the importance of having proper body armor in the case of an emergency. (c) 2017 Luke McGrath

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By Luke McGrath SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Equipment that the Syracuse Police Department’s emergency response team would use in an incident such as an active shooter may not work, the equipment has been expired for more than 18 months.

First Deputy Chief Joseph Cecile said at Wednesday’s Common Council study session that these vests are a necessity for the safety of the officers.

“These are very specific vests that will stop a rifle round,” Cecile said.

Cecile is asking the council for approval to buy 34 new vests along with other necessary equipment that would cost around $89,000.

Not all council members were quick to show their support. Many councilors were interested in why the vests would expire if they were never used.

Cecile says that body armor is made with various fibers inside that stop the round, but eventually those fibers begin to break down simply through age.

“It could be not used at all but over the course of a certain amount of years each vest has a life expectancy where they can no longer guarantee that it’s going to stop the round,” said Cecile.

One council member agreed that there is no point in risking whether or not the vest would work in an emergency.

“We don’t want to question the warranty on it,” the council member said.

Councilwoman Jean Kessner was concerned that the police department did not accept any bids to supply the vests.

“I don’t know why we would buy something without seeking a better bid on a good product,” Kessner said.

Cecile was adamant that the vests needed are very specific and that a good deal has been reached.

“There’s nothing comparable out there for us,” Cecile said. “They gave us an extremely good price provided that we could purchase this in April.”

The council will discuss the issue more this Monday during the regular meeting and possibly approve or deny the request.