Bulletproof vests protect officers, save lives
Exactly one month ago, a bulletproof vest stopped a round from penetrating the chest of La Crosse police officer Dustin Darling.To get more news about bullet proof vests, you can visit bulletproofboxs.com official website.
“Several weeks back, we had an incident that hallmarked the importance of the investment that we put into our equipment,” said Captain Jason Melby of the La Crosse Police Department.
At the La Crosse Police Department firing range, officers demonstrate exactly how a vest works. Tightly woven fibers called Kevlar absorb the bullet and disperse the round’s energy throughout the vest. The round flattens once it hits the vest. These fibers are so tight that they are able to repel the bullet. Ballistic vests can stop more than just bullets.
“10 years ago, we had an officer attacked by an individual with a screw driver, and he went to plunge the screwdriver into the officer, and it actually hit the vest, and the vest helped drive the screwdriver away from going into the officer,” said Captain Melby.
The modern bulletproof vest dates back nearly 50 years. Police departments began issuing them to officers in the mid 70s. To date, according to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, they’ve saved the lives of 3,000 officers since 1978.
Body armor has come a long way over the past 25 years for law enforcement like Captain Melby and John Siegel, who serves as the patrol captain for the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department.
“The weight of it is not as heavy as it used to be, but you do feel like you have something strapped to your vest for eight hours or twelve hours a day,” said Siegel.
“When I first got hired, there was a lot of officers that didn’t like the fact that the department was requiring to wear a ballistic vest, and now, I couldn’t imagine any of our officers would want to go out into the field and work a day without one of their vests on,” said Captain Melby.
The La Crosse Police Department is contractually obligated to provide ballistic vests for their officers due to an agreement with their union. Vests are replaced every five years. Each vest costs around $1,000. The department raises funding for the vests through acquiring grants and donations. Officers are able to customize their vests to fit their body type.