NYPD Contractor Hired To ‘Dispose’ Of Old Ballistic Vests, Sells Them On eBay Instead

(REUTERS/Bria Webb)

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Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter
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The New York Police Department revealed it terminated a contract with a body armor contractor after a probe discovered the company had been selling the department’s bulletproof vests on eBay, according to a Thursday report.

The NYPD opened a probe into its contractor Body Armor Outlet after two criminals were found wearing NYPD ballistic vests at the time of their arrest. The investigation found that the New Hampshire-based company, which had a $20,000 contract to destroy or “recycle” the department’s ballistic vests, had actually been selling them on eBay, the New York Daily News reported.

The language of the contract required Body Armor to “dispose” of the vests or recycle them “in a manner that rendered them unable to be used for illicit purposes,” police said.

The NYPD sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company, demanding that it stop auctioning off the equipment online, and Body Armor complied. The company claimed it hadn’t broken the contract but nevertheless offered to stop selling the vests and comply with any NYPD requests, but the NYPD chose not to renew its contract with the company at the recommendation of investigators.

The NYPD notified the District Attorney’s office and requested charges against Body Armor, but state prosecutors declined to pursue criminal action because the language of the contract was too vague, the Daily News reported.

Body Armor has several contracts outside of New York. The company has received $311,800 in federal government contracts for services in eight states since 2013, not including its NYC contract. It is unclear if the company’s actions regarding their NYPD contract will affect its other government contracts.

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