Do you think wearing on-body cameras on duty should be mandatory?
Although it's often called a bulletproof vest, ballistic armor can't make you invincible. It can, however, save your life should you be shot in the vest. And this is no small thing. Just ask anyone who's lived to tell the tale.
It started with a gunfight. Almost 40 years ago a former Marine named Richard Davis was delivering a pizza in downtown Detroit when three men tried to rob him at gunpoint. As he recovered from his wounds, Davis realized the need for lightweight body armor that could be worn by law enforcement officers in the field.
To help give you some insight into what you'll actually need on the street, the editors of POLICE Magazine contacted a number of veteran officers and asked them to give you some advice. Here's what they had to say.
You don't need to have majored in biology to know that men and women are not created equal—in measurements, that is. That's why female officers need ballistic vests made especially for their unique shapes. And now that women make up a more significant amount of the market share in law enforcement, body armor companies are taking notice.
Southern California-based U.S. Armor has been around for more than 20 years and prides itself on reliability. If U.S. armor makes a change, it's for a good reason. Following on the heels of the company's newly redesigned logo and Website, U.S. Armor's new concealable vest carrier provides enhanced comfort by utilizing new materials and ergonomic designs.
On Nov. 23, 2006, the day after Thanksgiving, Officer Chris Walker of the Jonesboro (Ark.) Police Department confronted a rape suspect hiding in a dark attic. The suspect fired from a prone position directly at Walker, who was able to return fire.
Body armor has come a long way since the days of knights. But even in today’s police and military operations, the armor is specialized according to the user’s need.
The latest in concealable armor provides comfort and flexibility while still offering the protection you need from everyday dangers on the job.
How much is a cop’s safety worth? Despite safety concerns, due to shrinking budgets it’s becoming increasingly common for police departments to require officers to purchase their own body armor. Even when agencies pony up some money for ballistic vests, it’s usually not enough to buy the best of the best—which is what most officers want protecting them from bodily harm.
Body armor is sometimes all that lies between you and a suspect's attack. It has saved officers' lives countless times. Not wearing it is not an option. As a law enforcement officer you're a walking target and, like it or not, a ballistic vest is the best protection you have against the bad guys' bullets.
Thousands of times a day in this country peace officers search homes, businesses, schools, and other structures for hidden offenders. Structure searches can turn into a high-risk assignment for the officers performing them.
The bad news is, regardless of comfort, you need to wear your vest. The good news is, the manufacturers of ballistic vests and other innovators are working on ways to make wearing a vest more bearable.
Good guys are not the only ones wearing armor these days.
Large trade shows can be overwhelming for everyone involved. They are a blur of seminars, awards banquets, industry schmooze sessions, and aisle after aisle of exhibits and demonstrations.
If you are shot while wearing body armor, you will still feel the energy of the bullet's impact. But if the armor works, the force will be spread out over your entire torso rather than in just a specific area.