There is no doubt, providing body armour to all law enforcement officers would provide enough benefit to justify the cost, according to a ground-breaking research project carried out by RAND Corporation study, conducted in 2010.
Analyzing police officer shootings over a four-year period, the study found that wearing body armour more than tripled the likelihood that an officer would survive a shooting to the torso and estimated that providing such equipment to all officers would save at least eight lives annually!
While most police departments around the world already use body armour, many regrettably still do not!
Considering the value of the life of an officer killed by gunfire, the study concludes that the benefits of providing body armor to all officers would be twice as large as the cost.
“While it is well-known that body armor saves lives, we’ve never known just how effective it is,” said Tom LaTourrette, the study’s author and a senior scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “The additional cost of providing body armor to all law enforcement officers in the United States is more than justified compared to the savings that would be created by fewer serious injuries and officer deaths.”
LaTourrette examined 561 line-of-duty shootings involving police officers nationally between 2004 and 2007. Among the 262 torso shootings studied, officers who were not wearing body armor had a 68 percent chance of dying as compared to a 20 percent among those who did wear armor.
However… this blog is about those frontline professionals who have been lucky enough to survive a firearm related assault and whose lives have been saved by this type of high performance PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
So… here are just a few very brief, but nevertheless great stories, which highlight once again that what we at PPSS Group do is right and good:
5th July 2012 (USA)
Officials are crediting a bullet proof vest with saving the life of aNew York Citypolice officer who was shot in the chest early Thursday morning while responding to a call in a housing development on theLower East Side.
Officer Brian Groves, 30, was on patrol with his partner in the Seward Park Housing Development on Essex Streetaround 3:30 a.m. on a report of criminal activity in the stairwell of one of the buildings.
As Groves and his partner opened the door to the stairwell of the 22nd floor, he saw a man with a gun.
Officer Groves yelled ‘gun’ so his partner, who was at the opposite stairwell, could hear.
That’s when the suspect took off running. As the officers chased him down four flights of stairs, he turned and fired, hitting Groves in his bullet proof vest.
Groves returned fire, firing four shots, but it’s unknown if the suspect was hit.
Officer Groves is clearly lucky to be alive. According to the Police Commissioner, he was shot from no more than eight feet away, and would have almost certainly have been killed if it wasn’t for his bullet-resistant vest!
29th December 2010 (UK)
A policeman who was shot in an incident which sparked a seven-hour siege was saved from serious injury by his body armour, his chief constable has said.
The 29-year-old West Yorkshire Police officer was shot when he went to arrest a 42-year-old man in Kirkheaton, nearHuddersfield, on Monday.
After a night-long stand-off with armed officers the man was shot by a police marksman and later died.
The siege, which resulted in armed police surrounding a property, took place in Cockley Hill Lane, near the centre of Kirkheaton.
Speaking during an interview, Sir Norman said: “The round lodged in the body armour and did not penetrate the final layer, so the officer has severe bruising to the kidney area of his torso and abrasions which were caused by the ricochet of the armour. If he hadn’t been wearing body armour, it would have undoubtedly caused serious injury in an area where there are a great number of vital organs.”
21st February 2010 (USA)
For two Schenectady police officers, the word “thankful” has profound meaning. Both officers — members of Schenectady New York Police Department SWAT team — went to a home to execute a search warrant on 21st February 2010 related to a homicide that occurred two days earlier.
There were two entry teams for this operation. Each team had two cover officers, two breachers, and three officers. Officer Thomas Kelly was on the first team, and Officer Jeremy Pace was on the second.
Officer Kelly and another officer breached the first door and made entry into the hallway; subsequently, entry had to be made through a second door. There were two doors to get into the apartment. The team leader opened the second door, which was unlocked, and entered. In the process of opening it, the door closed off the stairs on the second floor where the suspect was. The officers were on the first floor, and they yelled, “Police!” Officer Pace, on the second team, was almost at the threshold of the second door.
Suddenly, the suspect fired a shot between the edge of the door and wall. Officer Pace’s ballistic vest and gas mask were struck, and the pouches on his back were blown apart. He was hit in the chest through his equipment. “It spun me right around. He fired at me from the side, and the impact was definitely felt, but I didn’t have any injuries whatsoever!” Officer Pace said.
1st March 2007 (UK)
A policeman was knifed in the chest on a routine call to a flat.
PC Stewart Cameron’s protective body armour may have saved his life after he was stabbed with an eight-inch kitchen knife at a basement flat inBrighton.
Only the father of two’s body armour which is standard issue for Sussex Police officers – deflected the blade away from his heart before it could pierce his chest.
He and his colleague, PC Matthew Hollingdale, had been called to support two doctors and a social worker as they assessed the mental health of a 58-year-old man living at a flat inChichester Place.
When they arrived at 3.30pm on Wednesday the man had barricaded himself inside.
After the two officers forced the door open the man picked up the knife and stabbed PC Cameron through his uniform.
Chief Inspector David Miller, the district commander for centralBrightoncommented: “Clearly the body armour saved him from some potentially quite serious injury as the knife went into his chest area. Had he not been wearing it the consequences could have been very serious as it was quite a large knife.”
Of course, there are hundreds of more great stories out there… all great physical evidence that A) you cannot always see the attack coming, and B) if the attack occurs and if you did not see it coming, your body armour can act as a potentially life saving safety net.
The question however is… do YOU believe in it too?
In case you have not seen it yet… please view our video demonstration, highlighting the effectiveness of PPSS high performance bullet proof vests:
Take good care of yourself.