There's no excuse in 2015 for law enforcement officers not to wear good armor on duty. I get it, sometimes it gets heavy and most of the time it is uncomfortable, but it works and any cop who has put it to the ultimate test will tell you every ounce of discomfort is worth it. That said, good protection doesn't have to weigh 10 pounds and break the bank. Consider the products of Angel Armor.
Fort Collins, CO-based Angel Armor is serious about its ballistic protection products, and it offers an expansive line that includes everything from trauma plates to modular panels for office buildings and car doors. The company's dedication to the business of keeping bullets out of where they don't belong intrigues me, and I recently had the opportunity to check out Angel Armor's latest ballistic trauma plates.
The NTOA-endorsed Truth Series 8x10-inch "shooter's cut" trauma plate Angel Armor sent me for testing and evaluation is a beauty. Made of Angel Armor's high-quality ballistic material, the plate is rigid enough to take a solid blow but provides just a bit of flex for comfort. Weighing in at a measly 10 ounces and just millimeters thick, the plate is the right size for just about any armor application and the NIJ Level IIIA protection will stop multiple hits of most sub-rifle caliber rounds.
I was able to slide my test sample of the Truth Series trauma plate cleanly into my concealable patrol vest and didn't notice a difference while wearing it. It then found a more permanent home in my tactical plate carrier. I added a bit of Velcro and stuck it to the front of my soft armor insert. The combo provides plenty of ballistic protection while the Angel Armor plate adds a nice rigidity to the front panel of my vest. This setup obviously doesn't provide rifle protection, but it is also much lighter and hundreds of dollars cheaper than a hard plate and it's ideal for most of what my job throws at me.
I'm a big fan of rigid trauma plates for all body armor. Not only do they provide protection against bullets, but they can keep you safe from blunt trauma like punches, kicks, and even the impact of your steering wheel during a crash. If I've convinced you of their worth, I'd highly recommend you check out Angel Armor's Truth Series plates.
A.J. George is a patrol sergeant with the Scottsdale (AZ) Police Department who also serves as the SWAT team's crisis negotiations supervisor.