Government data over a period of ten years has shown that as a whole, the nation’s police officers experience almost 60,000 assaults each year on average. How can we protect law enforcement officers while in the line of duty? Specialty body armor is considered one option, however it is important to also minimize assault attempts as well.
Tactical body armor is an ancient practice for keeping fighters safe. Thankfully, today’s tactical gear is made from lighter materials and improving all the time. Many police departments have strict guidelines on what their officers will wear. Here are a few tips on choosing an appropriate protective vest.
No Piece of Armor Is Infallible: Choose Gear Intelligently.
While bulletproof body armor has saved the lives of police officers, the term “bullet proof” is actually a misnomer. Even the best police tactical gear cannot stop every bullet; ballistics and range always play a big part. With this fact in mind, choosing a good protective vest comes down to level of protection, fit, and your department’s requirements.
The Levels of Protection In Police Duty Gear.
Protective vests come in several levels of protection. The highest rating will be resistant to most handgun ballistics, while the lower ratings are better for protecting against shrapnel or sharp edges. An officer whose job requires time inside a facility may prefer a lighter, more flexible vest with a lower rating. An officer whose job is to be interacting with the community would probably feel much more secure with a heavy vest that offered higher protection.
Protection Still Needs to Be Comfortable.
Any body armor needs to fit properly. A vest that cuts up to high under the arms, or one that is too loose in the torso, will become annoying to wear. This may discourage the officer from wearing the vest, which would be a mistake. It pays to try on many different types or brands of protective gear to find one that is truly comfortable. This is determined easily: when on, do you forget you’re wearing it?
Since 1978, New York City alone saw 87 police officers’ lives be saved by wearing the proper protective gear. Body armor is life-saving, but it has to be worn to be of any service. Each police department has its own rules and regulations regarding protective gear. When shopping for a good vest, keep your department’s requirements in mind.