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How Is Body Armor Meeting Today's Higher Threat Levels?

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 23 Issue: 2 Dated: (February 1996) Pages: 24-30
K W Strandberg
Date Published
7 pages
This article examines the factors which have contributed to the recent popularity of body armor.
Body armor is currently receiving much favorable notice, in part because it is lighter and more flexible than ever, has been proven to furnish excellent protection, and is much more comfortable than before as a result of design advances and new materials. Newer vests and helmets are made of fibers which allow for decreasing weight with the same level of protection. Manufacturers are also concentrating on comfort, theorizing that the more comfortable the armor, the more likely officers will be to wear it. Many police departments are buying custom vests, to further increase the comfort level and the chances that officers will wear them. Ballistic vests are made with various threat levels, designed to meet varied needs. For example, correctional officers may not face the same danger of being shot as an officer on the street, but need puncture resistance to counter knives and makeshift weapons. Police officials believe that more officers are wearing body armor, but there are no statistics to prove that claim. Many police academies make body armor as much a part of the uniform as the weapon; if the officers start out using it, it will stay with them throughout their careers.


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