Bulletproof vests are extremely important to law enforcement agents around the nation. It is unfortunate but since people have become shooting targets, more and people have turned to armed body armor. It has been estimated that over the last ten years, there were about 65,000 assaults on police personnel each year, according to United States government data. In terms of police officers killed on the job, more than one-third of these killings were with guns. After car crashes, gunshot wounds are the second leading cause of death for cops. Knowing all of this, you can see how vital to their security this police tactical gear. It important to learn something about how these vests work and what they can and cannot do.
- A bulletproof vest will not make you Iron Man. People have the mistaken idea that they can be safe while being shooting targets because their vest is like shield worn by superheroes. Many people view law enforcement as being heroes, whose difficult work keeps us all safe but they still need to be careful while wearing their gear. The material that is used slows down the bullets but cannot stop it entirely. This may seem to some to be a distinction without a difference but it can impact how people take risks while wearing the vests.
- Bulletproof vests cannot live forever. All body armor gets a rating from the National Institute of Justice. That organization says that these vests should not be used for more than five years. As these items are used and worn day in and day out, the fabric gets a lot of wear and tear. That makes it less effective at doing the job it needs to do. All people who may become shooting targets need to pay attention to their gear and watch it for tears, burns or other problems. These can shorten their lifespan.
- Try not to get the vest wet. It may be hard to avoid getting wet in the rain and snow but getting the vest drenched is not a great idea. It is hard to imagine a time when someone would wear a vest into a pool (or any body of water) on purpose but if someone has a vest, they should do all they can to keep it dry. This can damage the vest.
- A bulletproof vest will need to be replaced if it is hit with a bullet. This is incredibly important in keeping people who may become shooting targets. The bullet may have saved the life of the officer but in doing so, its ability to protect them has been destroyed.
- It is important that the vest fits the wearer. These work better when they are not too large or too small. If the wearer of the vest loses or gains too much weight, it will be necessary to get a new size. Experts say that “too much” weight gain or loss is about 10% of their weight. In keeping with that thought, when officers are getting their vests fitted, they need to remember that they are rigid and do not move well. When they are trying them on, it is often recommended that the officer take a deep breath. They need some breathing room. If they cannot breathe while wearing it, they will leave it at home. It helps no one when that happens. Women’s vests need also to have special sections for their bras. Women officers should not be expected to wear bulletproof vests made for men.
- These vests can protect wearers in traffic accidents. These pieces of body armor for police do not stop working when the people wearing them stop being shooting targets. They can be very helpful in protecting cops when they are in a car crash, which is the leading cause of death among law enforcement officers. This makes this kind of gear really even more helpful for the men and women who are tasked with protecting us every day.
It is no secret how important bulletproof vests help law enforcement. Since 1978, at least 87 cops have been saved by bulletproof vests. Moreover, their usage makes it 3.4 times less likely that the person hit will die from their wounds. This information can help people wearing them.