Law Enforcement Body Armor: Heavy Or Light
A doctor would like to cover you from head to toe in body armor. The problem is, you cannot fight in it. Also, they dont have to wear it nor do they understand the ramifications of its long-term wear.
Plate Carriers vs. Heavy Body Armor-GeneralThe Northern States have severe cold weather where I would want the total package to keep body warmth in during cold weather operations. The problem you run into in the southern states is the heat. You cannot put enough water into your body during a long term or multiple ops to keep a human being going. If you are physically or mentally degraded when it is time to press the threat, problems can arise.
Were I Special Ops today, I would wear a plate carrier as I know the mobility required for single and multiple urban combat ops.
If I was a Law Enforcement or SWAT Type, I would layer up heavier as I know the shot would be up close a majority of the time.
Look at your missions and pick the best armor that will apply to them all. Go modular if you can during the heat.
If you are not in shape to carry the weight, up your physical training program.My preference is for everyone to come home at the end of the day. The need to balance armor and surface area protection will always be changing with advances in technology. Adapt new gear as it proves itself worthy. In the end, your physical shape is the variable where you can have the most impact.
How Do I Care For And Clean My Body Armor
Body armor will need to be washed just like any other article of clothing, especially if you are wearing it on a daily basis! Cleaning a Safe Life Defense carrier is easy and can be done in a washing machine as long as the ballistic panels are removed before washing. Since air drying is the best way to ensure a long carrier lifespan, an extra carrier is recommended. Having a spare will allow you to transfer your ballistic panels into the clean carrier while your soiled carrier is properly cleaned. It is important that you never go without protection. For additional information, please read the following instructions carefully:
Cleaning Instructions for Safe Life Defense Body Armor
Beyond Passive Body Armor
Body armor is not the only item worn or carried by warfighters, as shown in Fig. 21.8A. Other items include communications devices, night vision equipment, water supply, ammunition, etc. Cumulatively weighing 55150 lbs depending on mission , these items affect warfighter performance, and researchers have been exploring a variety of approaches to alleviate the weight and mobility burden such items pose. There are two general approaches: exoskeletons and robotics. Exoskeletons can include both passive and powered devices that are designed to manage the loads carried by the warfighter . Passive and powered exoskeletons share the principle of using mechanical or electromechanical devices that are worn by the warfighter in some manner. The second approach to unburdening the warfighter involves the use of robots. In contrast to exoskeletons, the robots are independent from the warfighter, serving to transport equipment and supplies in the form of mules .
Fig. 21.8. Comparison of passive, robotic exoskeleton, and robotic soldier load carriage and augmentation.
W.L. Todd, in, 2007
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Womens Body Armor Needs To Be Specifically Designed For Them
Historically, female police officers have been wearing the same body armor as men. This doesnt make any sense. It stands to reason that women would need additional chest protection. Womens vests have lacked the kind of cup-style support that is typically built into their bras and swimwear.
NIJ Standard 0101.07 has now introduced a special test protocol for female body armor, as discussed above. This has been a long time coming. Finally, body armor is being designed that specifically gives women the fit and added protection they need.
Why Do We Believe Police Officers Need More Protection
The majority of police across the country normally wear level IIIA body armor or soft inserts as their everyday ballistic protection. There is nothing wrong with Level IIIA body armor, but its only going to stop handgun bullets.
According to Police1, 37 LEOs have been murdered in the first 5 months of 2021, compared to 47 in all of 2021. Unfortunately, that number doesnt include the 4 officers murdered this month . The fact that we still have 5 months to go and weve already reached the entire number from last year is frightening.
As youve read in our previous blogs, ambush attacks on officers are spiking in the wrong direction and we will undoubtedly see more LEOs killed in the line of duty. According to The Hill and the National Fraternal Order of Police, ambush attacks on officers are up 91% since this time last year. Officers need better equipment and training to deal with this growing threat and, although we cant provide the training, ShotStop® can provide the best ballistic protection for our community heroes.
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Conus Threats And Mil
CONUS is what we refer to as stateside. It stands for the continental US. Its no secret bad people are doing bad things. And while there is a chance you may face rifle fire at your home duty station, statistics tell us its not near as likely as facing small arms fire. This is why you might come to see youre wearing soft armor instead of hard plates like when you are on deployment.
Body Armor Legality In Other Countries
- Australia Possession of body armor without authorization is prohibited in particular territories including New South Wales, Queensland, ACT, Northern Territory, Victoria, and South Australia.
- The UK There are no restrictions on buying or owning body armor in the UK at this time.
- The European Union Ballistic protection designated as military armament is forbidden to civilians. Generally, this means hard armor and not soft, flexible vests. However, each member nation of the EU sets its own body armor laws.
- Canada Body armor is legal in all Canadian provinces and territories except for Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba. In these four places, you must possess either a Law Enforcement, Security Guard, Firearms License, or Body Armour Permit ID to use body armor.
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Developments In Ceramic Armor
Ceramic materials, materials processing and progress in ceramic penetration mechanics are significant areas of academic and industrial activity. This combined field of ceramics armor research is broad and is perhaps summarized best by The American Ceramics Society. ACerS has run an annual armor conference for a number of years and compiled a proceedings 2004â2007. An area of special activity pertaining to vests is the emerging use of small ceramic components. Large torso sized ceramic plates are complex to manufacture and are subject to cracking in use. Monolithic plates also have limited multi hit capacity as a result of their large impact fracture zone These are the motivations for new types of armor plate. These new designs use two- and three-dimensional arrays of ceramic elements that can be rigid, flexible or semi-flexible. Dragon Skin body armor is one of these systems. European developments in spherical and hexagonal arrays have resulted in products that have some flex and multi hit performance. The manufacture of array type systems with flex, consistent ballistic performance at edges of ceramic elements is an active area of research. In addition advanced ceramic processing techniques arrays require adhesive assembly methods. One novel approach is use of hook and loop fasteners to assemble the ceramic arrays.
Follow The Instructions When Inserting The Panels
Ballistic armor panels are specifically designed so that the strike side is facing outward when inserted into the carrier. This is so that the side being struck is the one specifically built to slow down and stop the bullet while dispersing the force. The panels backside is specifically built to lessen the officers physical trauma when shot.
This is why you should never flip the panel back to front. When flipping the panel and placing the strike face side against your body, the best-case scenario is that you will have just a higher back face deformation. The worst-case scenario is a complete penetration of the vest, and you know what that means.
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How It Feels To Get Shot In A Bulletproof Vest
Most officers shot in bulletproof vests will end up with a nasty-looking bruise caused by blunt force trauma. But it is unlikely that it will even incapacitate you. Many officers shot in their armour have been able to shoot back at their attacker, and in many cases they have been able to neutralise the threat.
Getting shot by a 9mm or .44Mag round fuels an extremely sharp, stingy and pointed pain, which will most likely wind you for a couple of seconds. Due to the kinetic energy and deformation of the bullet within a fraction of a second, the heat will also potentially leave a small burn mark on your skin at the point of impact.
If you have suffered from such assault you must seek immediate medical help and get checked out in case of any internal bleeding suffered due to rupture of any organs.
As you see, theres much you did not know about body armor and you can also see why its vitally important every law enforcement officer in the nation, and world, to use their bulletproof vests.
If you have any comments or a question please do not hesitate to leave a quick message in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
Wear your bulletproof vest today so you can go home tonight!
Wear Your Body Armor On A Consistent Basis
Its a terrible tragedy when an officer who is works to protect all of us is killed doing his/her job. It is even more tragic when it turns out that they hadnt been wearing their vest that day. In the midst of their grief, family and fellow officers will forever dwell on what might have been. Take the time to put your vest on every single day you are in uniform. You owe it to yourself and loved ones.
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What Does Icw Mean On A Rifle Plate Rating
ICW Rifle Plates are typically hard plates that must be used with level IIIA soft body armor to achieve its official ballistic rating, but FRAS® can also be used as an ICW plate option. ICW plates are lighter, thinner and achieve higher body armor levels of protection. Safe Life Defense incorporates low-profile front and rear pockets into all soft armor systems so you can add Level IV ICW Rifle Plates when encountering a higher threat level. This allows the armor system to be highly adaptable. You may comfortably wear your soft armor daily for protection against common daily threats, but if a higher threat situation arises, ICW plates can be quickly added into the low-profile pockets to protect against some of the heaviest rifle ammunition out there!
What Are Cops Saying About Shotstop Body Armor
As a former cop and member of the military, I think its best to get actual testimonials from current cops. Thats why you should listen to Sheriff Stephan J. Levorchick of Ottawa County in Port Clinton, Ohio.
I was used to 40-to-50-pound kits, rather than 10 and 12-pound kits, says Sheriff Stephen J. Levorchick of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office in Port Clinton, Ohio, who upgraded his SWAT team to Level IV protection and his squad cars to Level III protection through ShotStop®. So when we had the opportunity to pursue good ballistic equipment for our people without weighing them down so much, we had to take it. Its more protection than weve ever provided, at a lighter weight.
Officers like Lieutenant Jamie Lovett of South Carolina have been police for decades and switched to ShotStop® because its lighter, more comfortable, and offers more protection than any other armor made to date.
Although my plate carrier weighs more than my soft body armor, it is ten times more comfortable, says Lovett. My soft body armor will bend, fold, and scrunch up it just gets out of whack. The plates fit absolutely perfectly they have since day one. They feel good, and theyre light. Id rather wear them than something else.
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How To Keep Your Panel From Sagging
Sagging panels are uncomfortable to say the least, but whats worse is they lose some of their ability to protect you. To avoid sagging panels, you need to switch out your carriers on a regular basis. Most protective vests come with two carriers to begin with. However, some manufacturers recommend having at least three. By regularly switching out your carriers, you can minimize wear and tear on the Velcro straps and the fabric itself and thus keep your panels from sagging.
What Level Body Armor Does The Police Wear
While there are standard requirements when it comes to body armor for law enforcement officers, each department and State jurisdiction will have their small differences. Either for political, social, or objective reasons, some departments will use different types of vests.
But, the overall types can be categorized by the type of mission where they will be used. These types of police body armor are:
- Hybrid Soft and Hard Plate Carriers
- Plate Carriers with Auxiliary Armor
Additionally, while some police officers will prefer to wear external carriers because of both comfort and utility, certain jurisdictions wont allow this to happen. Due to political reasons and public relations, many departments opt to wear armor under the shirt.
Regardless, there is no police department in the country that will place their officers in more danger than they have to be. When it comes to equipping task-forces and teams for a specific mission, protection will take priority over appearance.
Finally, there are now multiple types of soft armor that can be woven into regular clothes. When it comes to detectives and investigators working covertly, this is usually the go-to option.
Place The Ballistic Panels In The Right Way
Ballistic panels have been created to fit into the carrier in a certain way. If the wearer puts them in wrong, it can lead to tragic results. The panels strike face is created to slow and disperse the energy of the bullet. The backside of the panel is created to reduce the trauma. If the panel is flipped, theres no promise of the vest stopping the bullet.
Local Officials Impact Officer Safety The Most
Most decisions on officer vest policies fall on local sheriffs, police chiefs, and government officials. That is why electing officials who support such policies is critical for officer safety. It is important that citizens stay engaged in local government elections because your local officials have a much greater impact on police officer safety.
That is why the National Police Support Fund is dedicated to mobilizing the public behind political issues concerning police officers at all levels of government. If you believe that police officers require leaders that promote their safety, we encourage you to join our movement today.
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The International Standard For Body Armor
Many countries e.g. Germany and the UK have their own body armor standard but the one that is more or less accepted around the world is the NIJ Standard 0101.06.
NIJ Standard 0101.06 establishes minimum performance requirements and test methods for the ballistic resistance of personal body armour intended to protect against gunfire. This is a technical document that specifies the minimum performance requirements that equipment must meet to satisfy the requirements of criminal justice agencies around the world.
The highest possible level of ballistic protection possible for soft body armour is Level IIIA. Higher levels of protection from rifle ammo is only possible with aid of additional ballistic plates.
Levels Of Police Body Armour:
The Body armour is divided into five categories: Level IIA, Level II, Level IIIA, Level III, and Level IV.
This has been established by the National Institute of Justice . The National Institute of Justice is responsible for creating and defining designations. Type IIA bullets were tested in 9 mm Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose and.40 S& W Full Metal Jacket calibers.
Level II: Type II bullets are tested in 9 mm FMJ RN and.357 Magnum Jacketed Soft Point calibers.
Level IIIA: Type IIIA rounds are tested in.357 SIG FMJ Flat Nose and.44 Magnum Semi Jacketed Hollow Point calibers.
Level III: Hard armour or plate inserts tested with 7.62 mm FMJ steel jacketed bullets in Type III .
Level IV: Hard armour or plate inserts were tested with.30 caliber armour piercing bullets in Type IV .
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