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As NYPD Suits Up With Heavier Body Armor, Other Police Departments Likely to Follow Suit

Amid deadly shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, a major purchase of heavy ballistic protective equipment by the country's largest police department illustrates the sense of danger among cops that experts say is at its highest in decades.

The New York City Police Department -- which employees more officers than any other police force in the country -- announced on Monday that it would spend $7.5 million to buy 6,000 heavy ballistic vests and 20,000 ballistic helmets for its officers.

The purchase, the department and the mayor said, was in response to recent terror attacks, mass shootings, and police ambushes.

For John Cohen, an ABC News contributor with over 30 years in law enforcement and homeland security experience, the recent incidents have cast a specter of danger over the law enforcement community unlike anything he has seen over his career.

The NYPD's purchase of the body armor, he said, is the product of an evolving threat that law enforcement on American streets now face on a regular basis and the changing expectations we have of those who are often the public’s first line of defense.

And he predicts that the NYPD will be only be the first department to make a major purchase like this in wake of recent attacks.

“Law enforcement officers are increasingly having to respond to heavily armed individuals using high-capacity weapons seeking to commit mass murder,” he said. “Criminals are going in with a plan, high-capacity weapons, and their job is to kill as many people as possible.”

And whether it's an ideologically motivated terror attack or the work of a deranged person with a grievance, police officers are expected to intervene in ways that they weren’t previously.

Read full article here: http://abcnews.go.com/US/nypd-suits-heavier-body-armor-police-department...