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Our Guide To Choosing The Right Body Armor For You
Body Armor Guide By Atlantic Firearms
Body Armor Overview
Firearms are among the most dangerous types of threats that U.S. law enforcement officers are faced with today. Over the last three decades, the lives of over 3,000 police officers have been saved by soft ballistic-resistant body armor. Body armor is a crucial form of safety equipment that is needed by corrections and law enforcement officers for their personal protection.
Minimum voluntary performance standards are established and updated by NIJ for body armor. Tests are also conducted against the standards to make sure that body armor for sale complies with these standards. NIJ also sponsors research for improving body armor.
In 1971 the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, the predecessor of NIJ, started to develop lightweight body armor and tested it in 1978. These days, police body armor is among the best-known products to result from the research funded by the NIJ.
The NIJ ballistic resistance performance standard for police body armor, which was updated last in 2008, is our only national standard that has been set for police body armor.
Acceptance and recognition of these NIJ standards have continued to grow worldwide, which has resulted in it becoming the performance benchmark that ballistic-resistant body armor is measured against.
Body Armor Provides Protection Against Death and Injury
Unfortunately, stab-proof or bullet-proof armor does not exist. Ballistic-resistant body armor, however, is able to protect against many different kinds of rifle and handgun ammunition. In addition, stab-resistant body armor is able to protect against sharp weapons such as knives.
Occupational and Environmental Hygiene published a study that found that offers who don't wear body armor on a routine basis have a 3.4 times higher chance to suffer fatal injuries from torso shots compared to officers who do wear body armor on a routine basis.
Different Kinds of Body Armor
For law enforcement officers there are protective vests in the form of both stab-resistant body armor and ballistic-resistant body armor to provide protection and coverage to the torso primarily. Different types of armor provide officers with protection against various types of threats that they may be faced with. Ballistic-resistant body armor provides protection against bullet penetration as well as blunt trauma that bullet impacts are associated with.Different Types of Body Armor Soft body armor is one type of vest that provides protection against handgun bullet as well as tactical armor that is less flexible and comprised of hard and soft components that provide protection against rifle bullet. There is also stab-resistant body armor that provides protection against spikes and knives. Combination armor is also made by manufacturers that protect against both types of threats. Whenever law enforcement agencies are buying body armor that needs to consider the types of threats that their officers are most likely to encounter and select the type of body armor that has the properties that are best suited for protecting against the most likely threats.
Law enforcement officers do not usually wear a protective vest that is stab resistant only. Law enforcement officers in the United States are more likely to be wearing ballistic-resistant armor, while it is more likely that correctional officers will be wearing stab-resistant armor. Law enforcement officers tend to wear combination armor in other countries, like the United Kingdom.
Law enforcement personnel need to remember that armor is rated and categorized or various levels of threats. They should choose the appropriate protection level based on what the officer's role is. For example, SWAT members may need body armor offering a higher protection level compared to the body armor that is worn on regular duty.