Vest Reimbursement Guidelines
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) Vest Reimbursement Program defines soft-body armor eligible for reimbursement as:
A. One front and one back ballistic panel
B. One soft trauma plate
C. Two concealable or authorized carriers
D. One hard trauma plate
Per Minnesota Statute 299A.38, the State will reimburse up to one-half of the purchase cost of the above items.
Other charges will be the responsibility of the officer or agency (e.g., tactical ballistic items, unauthorized carriers, alterations, freight, sales tax, etc.). Each additional item should be listed and priced separately on the vendor invoice.
The State of Minnesota, Department of Administration, has a body armor contract – A-224(5) – which generally offers lower pricing for body armor. Eligible governmental entities may use this contract to purchase their soft body armor.
In order for governmental entities to use the body armor contract, they must first become a member of the Cooperative Purchasing Venture (CPV). (Officers who purchase individually should consult with their agency purchaser prior to ordering in order to guarantee the CPV prices.)
Law enforcement agencies can check to see if their city or county is currently registered as a CPV member by reviewing the CPV Membership List. This list also identifies the local registered contact name so each governmental entity knows who to contact regarding the correct body armor purchasing procedure.
If a city, county or township is not currently listed as a CPV member, a CPV Membership Application would need to be completed and submitted to the Department of Administration. (Note: If a police department is currently listed as a CPV member and a city, county or township wanted to gain access, the city, county or township would need to submit a CPV Membership Application.)
The CPV Membership Application and more information on the CPV Program can be found on the Cooperative Purchasing Venture website. In addition to soft body armor, CPV members save on a wide variety of products and membership is free.
Individual officers would not sign up as a CPV member; their governmental entity would be responsible for the CPV registration.
Agencies are not required to use the body armor contract in order to purchase their soft body armor. Please note that as of July 1, 2012, DPS will be reviewing this contract for every soft body armor purchase that is submitted for reimbursement, and if the purchased soft body armor could have been purchased less expensively using the State of Minnesota contract, the State of Minnesota will reimburse its portion of the lesser contract purchase amount.
DPS will review and compare each invoice with the soft body armor listed in the contract. The agency or officer will be reimbursed one-half of the amount listed in the contract; not necessarily the amount that is listed on the submitted invoice.
- Agencies and officers may use any vendor they choose whether they are on the contract or not. DPS does not place restrictions on which vendor may be used.
- There are items in the body armor contract that DPS is not able to reimburse (e.g., tactical ballistic items, unauthorized carriers, patches, pouches, bags, alterations, etc.). You may purchase these items but know that DPS is not able to reimburse for every item listed in the contract. Please see items A-D listed above for the items that DPS will reimburse.
The State of Minnesota will reimburse full-time licensed officers for soft body armor reimbursement.
Agencies that purchase their full-time licensed officers soft body armor also qualify for reimbursement.
Officers do not have to work full-time, but they must have a full-time license. Part-time licensed officers are not eligible for reimbursement.
Per Minnesota Statute 299A.38
, the officer’s last vest must be at least five years old. Please be sure that the new vest date of receipt is at least five years (60 months) from the previous vest date of receipt.
Reimbursement is for soft body armor only. Tactical ballistic items are NOT eligible for reimbursement. The program does not reimburse for additional costs including embroidery, alterations and/or shipping costs. The state can reimburse one-half the cost of the soft body armor vest.
All reimbursement requests must include:
The completed State Vest Reimbursement Application; and
The invoice listing the total amount paid (a packing slip is NOT an acceptable replacement). The invoice must be itemized to show each purchased item and its purchase price.
The invoice must reflect a purchase date of at least five years (60 months) from the officer’s previous vest purchase. If you do not recall the date of your last vest purchase, please call the number listed below and state that you need to check on the date of a previous vest purchase.
- To submit a vest reimbursement request, complete the Vest Reimbursement Application form. Print and mail or fax the form and invoices to DPS.
- The Vest Reimbursement Application and invoice may be mailed or faxed. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is working to create an accessible electronic version of the Vest Reimbursement Application that meets the State of Minnesota Accessibility Standard and Minnesota State Statutes Section 16E.03. If you need this document in an accessible format, contact the DPS accessibility coordinator at (651) 201-7575, or TTYL at (651) 282-6555.
Department of Public Safety
Town Square Tower
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1000
St. Paul, MN 55101
Fax: (651) 297-5728
For vests purchased on or after October 1, 2019, the maximum reimbursement amount is $791.11. (The reimbursement amount changes every October 1 based on the Consumer Price Index.)
For vests purchased on or after October 1, 2018, the maximum reimbursement amount is $778.65.
For vests purchased on or after October 1, 2017, the maximum reimbursement amount is $756.71.
For vests purchased on or after October 1, 2016, the maximum reimbursement amount is $744.79.
For vests purchased on or after October 1, 2015, the maximum reimbursement amount is $737.42.
For vests purchased on or after October 1, 2014, the maximum reimbursement amount is $736.68.
For vests purchased on or after October 1, 2013, the maximum reimbursement amount is $721.53.
U.S. Department of Justice Grant
Reimbursement is also available for participating jurisdictions through a federal grant award from the United States Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs. Applications for federal bullet-proof vest (BVP) funds must be submitted during an annual 6-week open application period. Federal funding decisions are made after the close of the application period. Applicants will then be notified via email regarding approved funding levels. Funding will not be received until the vests are purchased at which time the jurisdiction can submit a request for reimbursement through the Federal BVP website.