POLICE Magazine

AUG 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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B A L L I S T IC PR O T E C T IO N | SP E C I A L R E P O RT | 3 PHOTO: VINCENT TAROC Although soft armor is tough enough to stop bullets, it's not tough enough to survive mistreatment. David Griffith Maintaining Concealable Body Armor ➔ It can be argued that the most valuable item you possess is your body armor. Sure your house, your car, and numerous other things that you have purchased over the years cost more to initially buy and they retain more monetary worth. But your body armor is even more valuable because it can literally save your life. But it can only save your life if you wear it. And even if you wear it every day on duty but don't take care of it properly, it might not give you optimal protection. Experts say you need to treat your body armor like the valuable possession it is. You maintain your house, you maintain your car, and you also need to maintain your body armor. STORE IT PROPERLY O ne of the worst things you can do to body armor is store it in a fashion that will damage it. Some officers have found out the hard way that smashing a vest down into the bottom of a locker or putting it in the trunk and setting heavy stuff on top of it is a good way to wreck it. Ballistic panels are made of many layers of bullet-resistant fiber. If they get bent out of shape, they can't be ironed or straightened out. If you store a sweaty vest in the bottom of your locker all mashed up, it will dry into a wrinkled mess. And wrinkled armor panels are going to look horrible and may provide less than optimal protection. If you do this, you may have to replace your vest. ere is one preferred way to store concealable body ar- mor. You lay it flat with no other objects on it that could make the panels bend or curl. Some experts say you can hang armor, if you do it right. But this is a matter of some debate. If you hang your body armor, you need to consider what gravity might do to it. Don't just hang it up by the straps. is

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