POLICE Magazine

JAN 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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16 POLICE JANUARY 2019 PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES In an informal and highly subjective poll, POLICE asked officers what's good and bad about ballistic vests and what needs improvement. DOUG WYLLIE WHAT YOU'D CHANGE ABOUT Body Armor ANY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER with the desire to go home after their tour should wear body armor. Bullet-resistant vests have proven time and again to be essential lifesaving gear for law enforcement. For officers whose departments do not supply body armor—and not doing so is a gross injustice for those offi- cers—body armor can be privately purchased from an array of vendors. POLICE Magazine did an informal—and completely unscientific—survey of active-du- ty and retired officers asking: "What do you like, dislike, and/or would like to see changed in your body armor?" We spoke with officers on all points on the compass rose—including places like Alaska, California, Florida, Illinois, Mas- sachusetts, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Wash- ington, and Wyoming. e most common themes were what one might expect. What follows is a compilation of the results of our poll, edited for grammar and brevity. BETTER FIT Officers like their vests when they are custom fitted. A lot of officers are not given the oppor- tunity to get a custom-fitted vest, with agencies choosing to outfit their personnel with stan- dardized sizes. "I have a husky frame—specifically in my pectorals and upper chest arm area—so I have a tough time finding something that fits just right," one such officer said. "I have to have something too small or deal with something that doesn't fit the best in the belly region." One officer said, "I'm lucky in that I get to test Body armor has come a long way from the days it was stiff as a board, but improvements are still wanted and needed.

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