It is no secret that police officers have a dangerous job. Over the past ten years, there have been more than 60,000 assaults on law enforcement personnel each year, according to data compiled by the government. Gunshots caused more than 33% of the law enforcement deaths, making this the second leading cause of death on the job (the first is car crashes). Using police tactical gear such as tactical body armor and bulletproof body armor saves lives. It has been estimated that using this kind of gear has saved at least three thousand law enforcement lives over the last 30 years. In New York City alone, at least 87 law enforcement officers have been saved by it since 1978. Here are some tips for keeping your body armor in the best shape.
- Start by getting the right fit. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, if your body armor does not fit and that makes it unpleasant to wear, you are not going to wear it. Even the best tactical gear can do you no good if it is not being used. If you get a vest that is too tight, you will get way too hot. When that happens, you will sweat a ton. That is bad for you and the bulletproof vests for police officers. If you get vests that are too loose, they will not provide the right protection. Think of this as a Goldilocks thing, you do not want vests that are too big or too small, they need to be just right.
- Get the right kind of body armor. Not every law enforcement agency or officer has to worry about the same dangers. Before you get tactical gear for your people, you need to think about what problems they will actually have to deal with. There are vests and other body armor that are meant to protect against knives and sharp objects. And there is, of course, body armor that is meant to protect people from bullets. Make sure the correct equipment is selected for the threats you are facing.
- Keep an eye on the body armor. Like any other equipment that you depend on, the safety clothing that officers wear needs to be inspected on a regular basis. Before you put it on at the start of a shirt and after you take it off at the end of the shift, the safety gear that was worn needs to be checked for a number of problems such as rips, tears, cracks, and any other issues. Damaged safety gear is worthless and needs to be replaced.
- Be careful about where you store it. In addition to paying attention to the wear and tear safety gear may have while being worn, problems can occur when it is being stored, if it is not being stored correctly. It needs to be kept dry (water can be very damaging) and needs to be stored out of the range of direct sunlight. Of course, you may encounter both of these things while you are on the job. If you are rained on and it gets wet, dry it before you put it in storage.
- Clean it the right way. When it comes to cleaning police tactical gear such as bulletproof and stabproof vests, you need to be careful. Kevlar is vulnerable to water and harsh detergents. Water can wear away the connections between the lawyers in the vest itself. The best thing to do is use a mild soap and damp sponge. Before you use the damp sponge, use a soft brush to get any mud or dirt off of the vest. When it is wet, it is very important that you not place it in the sun to dry. This is a common mistake a lot of people make. Put it in a dry space that is away from direct sunlight. The more attention to the vest when you clean it, the longer it will last and will be effective.
Tactical police gear has made a big difference in keeping law enforcement officers safe. These tips can help you keep yours in great shape.