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Soft Body Armor - Procurement Responsibility of Law Enforcement Agencies

March 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 117

It was found that police executives rarely prioritize the procurement of soft body armor probably because of the notion that wearing one can be tiring and uncomfortable. Body armor used to be heavy and bulky which is very distractive while on the job especially to police enforcers. Gladly in 1960's, Du Pont scientist discovered a new fiber called Kevlar. However during that time it was not given much attention neglecting to recognize the potential of this material to bring a lot of changes in the improvement of protective gear especially in the police community.

The National Institute of Justice together with the US army developed a prototype using this new fiber. The prototype underwent various testing and was proven to be effective. It was first proven in action during a robbery in Seattle last December 23, 1975 wherein retired police Officer Raymond Johnson was shot by .38 caliber bullets. He was shot in the chest twice and one in his hand. After that miraculous survival, more than 3000 officers seek to wear ballistic vest. Consequently, they were also able to experience the same benefits.

Nonetheless, despite the benefits and promising efficiency of bullet proof vest towards projectiles not all are convinced to wear such protection. The reason being, bullet resistant vest is too expensive, uncomfortable, hot, and ultimately limiting the wearer's ease of mobility.

Good thing, soft body armor is now using lightweight materials. These materials brought the advent of thinner and lighter bullet proof vests which are now favorably worn by many, providing the same protection as that of the bulky and heavy types of vests worn by militaries.

In order to keep the resistance capacity of a vest functional, each gear is categorized according to the different levels of protection which NIJ has set. Those who may need more protection may get higher levels while others who require minimal protection may choose the lighter ones. The standardization of the level of protection benefited each individuals or organization in promoting uniformity and the provision of accurate ballistic vest to organizations or agencies.

To encourage law enforcement officers to procure ballistic vest, IACP and DuPont entered into a partnership in 1987 geared towards promoting the importance of wearing bullet proof vest. This partnership aims to minimize law enforcement casualties and disabilities by encouraging them to wear one by providing solid and substantial documents of its effectiveness. Another is to recognize those individuals who were saved and have eluded life-threatening situations or possible disability in order to coax others of its advantages. Lastly, it is their objective to collect important data with regard to different incidents and surviving officers and how they were saved by the use of soft body armor.

Ka Pat A. Lee is an expert in the field of soft body armor. He has been in the manufacturing business of effective, durable and very light concealable body armor for decade. To find products for police enforcers, military and even for civilian use, check out Body Armor-Shop.

Source: EzineArticles
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