Whether you are a cadet, a sworn in officer, a first responder, security guard, military personnel or any other type of employee who puts their life in the line of fire on a daily basis, a bullet proof vest is a necessity. Bullet proof vests and other body armor are made from layers of threaded fabrics that when pressed together are able to resist gunfire from standard weaponry. It is best to recognize your level of need and decide from the most effective product in your desired range.
Bullet proof vests come in various levels. For instance a lightweight, level IIA is made of lighter weight fibers while a level IV is heavier weight and as a result much more cumbersome. Few officers would be comfortable performing regular duty in a Level IV bullet proof vest. Commonly, IIIA is used for general law enforcement needs. It is also recommended to look at how the ballistic panels are constructed inside the vest.
When purchasing a vest, you have to ensure that is authentic. There should be disclaimers on the vest and each should have a recognizable serial number and safety testing information from the National Institute of Justice. As you shop for body armor, look at the individual ratings to ensure you are buying one that will give you an optimal level of protection.
For private investigators, under cover officers and even off duty use, many people choose to wear concealed vests that fit under normal clothing without being recognizable. These will help to protect against small gunfire and simply offer a peace of mind protection for every day use.
Another consideration is the type of fibers that your vest is made from. Traditionally, they are either made from Spectra, which is a newer fiber or Kevlar. Neither of these vests will provide total protection against heavy artillery fire and many can be reinforced with trauma plates designed to add extra protection to areas of the torso. Still, the head, neck and other areas of the body are left unprotected. Often due to poor fit, bullet proof vests can leave openings into the main torso where a bullet can penetrate which is why it is essential to understand how to purchase a well fitted vest.
It is important to consider your body armor as your partner against crime. Research concludes that body armor has saved thousands of lives and has progressively decreased the amount of line of duty deaths in police officers in the last decade. Today’s bullet proof vests are made with comfort and safety in mind and come in a wide array of designs that can effectively save your life and reduce your chance of injury.