Unit 6 Assignment 2
Implementing Soft Body Armor Policy
Implementing Soft Body Armor Policy
It’s always important to explain the pros and cons of the transition before introducing a new policy. There have been many new policies that have come about within law enforcement. Just as new policies arise in other companies, they are not always understood, welcomed, nor accepted by most employees in the beginning due to issues and concerns. When it comes to the well-being and safety of our law enforcement officers, coming up with new plan, ideas, and new technology that would not only protect them, but help them be successful while performing their job duties are our main goals and concerns. Informing our law enforcement officers about the different pieces and types of equipment and knowing the advantages and implications it provides is important for management.
Executing the mandatory use of soft body armor vests regulations are equivalent to those regulations that were implemented in the past. Before implementing this new policy, it is very important to make sure that the necessary provisions must be applied. Therefore, various divisions within the company has to be incorporated to maintain that everyone has an in-depth comprehension. Furthermore, it would be best to initially begin by acknowledging how the protection of the soft body armor can support our law enforcement officers while out in the field, and to recognize any or all concerns that may occur about the vests.
No one in law enforcement want to think about getting shot while out in the field on duty. Well, no one in general want to think about getting shot ever, for that matter. Taking a projectile while out in the field is currently one of the greatest threats to law enforcement officials. According to The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), (2011), soft body armor is available to law enforcement personnel to protect against life threatening or potentially disabling injuries. The IACP/DuPont Kevlar Survivors Club has documented that since 1987, more than 3,000 law enforcement officers have survived life threatening injuries because they were protected by their body armor. However, it has been understood that officers participating in, or assigned certain non-patrol operations may not be able or required to wear body armor during specific aspects of their duties, therefore, each agency will have to recognize certain conditions and cases in which wearing body armor would be unacceptable. There are different types of armor law enforcement officers use to protect themselves from different kinds of threats (Green, M. 2018). Protective vests for law enforcement officers include ballistic- and stab- resistant body armor, which primarily provides torso coverage and protection (Green, M. 2018). Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a bulletproof armor, ballistic-resistant body armor may protect against many types of handgun and rifle ammunition (Green, M. 2018). With that being said, on the more-rough side of things, the vest is not guaranteed to stop every kind of projectile from penetrating law enforcement officers, nor knife infiltration. The National Institute of Justice had its first recorded body armor “save” on December 23, 2975, when a Seattle Police Department Officer was shot by an assailant during an armed robbery at a local business. During that same field evaluation period, several other officers in different participating cities were also saved (Green, M. 2018).
There have not been any objections about the importance of body armor in saving officer lives. However, there has been concerns raised in the sector that the protection and durability of the body armor can be compromised by a variety of environmental factors. For instance, the heat and moisture application to armor over time, and the officers continuing care and maintenance activities. Officers shouldn’t fold or place the vest on a standard uniform hanger (Grant H., Kubu B., Taylor B., Roberts J., Collins M., Woods D. J.). Nonetheless, no studies have been conducted to date to analyze self-reported attitudes and behaviors linked to the use and treatment of their body armor or its relation to the overall performance deterioration of the weapon.
Initiatives for education and training could be effective in ensuring that officers tend to recognize the importance of appropriate use of protection for their defense. At the same time law enforcement officials may then voice their concerns or questions about the vest. For instance, medical issues that can arise from the vest, heat-related factors, freedom of movement, freedom of choice, and any other issues they may have.
Utilizing soft body armor the correct way, can one day be the determining factor or reason a law enforcement officer is able to make home to his family one night. If officers really understood the importance of these vests, and how it can possibly expand their chance of survival if ever shot, they probably wouldn’t gamble with their life. The plan of action to implement the mandatory use of wearing soft body armor vests should require more agencies to have a written body armor policy that is periodically enforced through inspections.
Understanding both the pros and cons when it comes to wearing a soft body armor vest is very crucial within the criminal justice field. Every criminal justice professional should understand everything there is to know about this piece of equipment because it can perhaps determine if an officer live or die if ever shot.
Grant H., Kubu B., Taylor B., Roberts J., Collins M., Woods D.J. (2012) November. Body Armor Use, Care, and Performance in Real World Conditions: Findings from a National Survey. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/240222.pdf
Green, M. (2018) November 14. National Institute of Justice. Body Armor: Protecting our Nation’s Officers from Ballistic Threats. Retrieved from https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/articles/body-armor-protecting-our-nations-officers-ballistic-threats
International Association of Chiefs of Police. (IACP). (2011). Mandatory Vest Use by Police Officers. Retrieved from https://www.theiacp.org/resources/resolution/mandatory-vest-use-by-police-officers