Sometimes a show of force just is not enough.
In a time when police officers often find themselves out armed when they go to make an arrest or are called out on a disturbance, it should come as no surprise that more and more departments are looking tactical body armor and other kinds of police safety gear. In fact, 71% of local police departments in 2013 required officers to wear armor vests at all times, according to a survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Tactical body armor helps protect those who are working to to protect society.
The fact that some felons actually target police officers means that every day on the job for a police officer may involve very dangerous situations. And while some do not want to admit that we live in a dangerous world, the police officers who are in the field every day know that they need to be constantly on guard. In addition to using tactical body armor to protect themselves when they are on the job, officers also spend time at the shooting range practicing with reactive targets to keep their skills well honed.
Consider some of these facts about tactical gear and the need for protecting police officers across the country:
- Nearly 60,000 assaults on police officers occur every year, according to government data.
- More than 33% of law enforcement officer deaths over the last 10 years were caused by gunshots. This makes shootings the second leading cause of police officer death, only behind motor vehicle crashes.
- 3,000 law enforcement officers over the past three decades have been saved by armored vests.
- In New York city alone, 87 police officers have been saved by body armor since the year 1978.
- If police officers do not wear armored vests, the chance of dying from a gunshot wound to the torso is 3.4 times higher.
- 33 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed with their own weapon in 10 years, according to the FBI.
- 66 law enforcement officers were criminally killed in the line of duty in 2016, according to FBI data. Of those 66 law enforcement officers killed, 62 were assaulted with firearms.
- 20% of the officers who died from a gunshot wound to the torso while wearing body armor died because the ammunition that was used against then was more powerful than the body armor?s capability to stop it.