It always surprised me to find that some of the cops I worked with did not wear body armor, aka bullet proof vests, while on duty. One of my good friends was recalcitrant in wearing his armor. It was not a cost issue, the police department provided perfectly serviceable armor for free. He claimed it was uncomfortable, too hot, and “if it was his time, body armor wasn’t going to help.” The last excuse was the one I scratched my head about. Tying your risk of injury or death to fate, with no reasonable interventions, seems fatalistic and foolish. As to his other complaints, those are rubbish as well.
Let’s take a look at some of the body armor available and why it makes sense to use it. Security Pro offers both external carriers and concealable body armor. External carriers are designed to be worn over your clothing, with no concern for concealment. The world can see you are wearing armor. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. If you are in a permissive environment, where body armor is desired, and not shocking to those around you, I would encourage the use of an external carrier. A product, such as GH Armor Tactical Outer Carrier, for example, allows you to add the ballistic panels that best address your suspect threat. These are great for Law Enforcement, high visibility operations, such as warrant service, and the like. You can add both soft panels and hard panels to the carrier for protection that will stop even rifle rounds. The pockets allow for equipment such as handcuffs, non-lethal tools like pepper spray, and the all-important pen and notebook.
Concealable vests, while they are not as convenient as the external, tactical outer carrier, are actually more functional in many cases. Many police agencies still insist their officers wear concealable body armor so as to not worry the citizens or give the wrong impression. In this day and age, how cops appear to the public is an important part of the general perception of their effectiveness. For that reason, concealable body armor makes sense. Officers can still appear friendly, and approachable, without making the neighborhoods feel like a war zone, and still have excellent ballistic threat protection. Personally, I always wanted the best body armor available. For that I look to level IIIA armor. Quality body armor is tested and rated by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). If you are looking at body armor, and it is not rated by NIJ look elsewhere. There is no guarantee of its abilities or protection level unless it’s tested and certified by NIJ. One of the stand out products offered by Security Pro is their SecPro T-Armor Concealable Vest. Here is a vest which you can wear all day, under your uniform, in comfort. The level of protection runs from level II to IIIA, which is rated to stop handgun rounds all the way up to the .44 magnum, which is an impressive feat for something concealable, comfortable and all-day wearable. While lower levels are available, I personally always opt for the most protection I can afford. The price difference is negligible and I think my life is worth the extra cost.
But what about civilians? Is there a need for the average citizen to own and use body armor? I think the answer is a clear “yes”. I see more and more citizens moving to concealed carry as a means of protection. I support the lawful use and carriage of guns by private citizens. I also feel that if someone carries a gun, for fear of a gunfight, they should also consider using a concealable vest as additional insurance. Take for example, the jeweler who got a concealed carry permit because they transport expensive gems from shop to shop. If they are in a neighborhood, with a high crime rate and a significant probability of robbery or armed assault, they should strongly consider a concealable body armor vest for such errands. An excellent example of such a vest is the SecPro CVIIIA Concealable Vest. Because of the Velcro side release, this vest is easy to don and remove by simply loosening one side of the Velcro, slipping it over the head, then fastening the Velcro. A jacket, light sweater, or even a tee shirt will now conceal the vest while you go about your tasks. This vest is also rated to stop .44 magnum rounds. It offers excellent protection and the price is very affordable.
How about the homeowner who hears crashing, breaking glass in the middle of the night? The choose to grab their firearm and investigate. If they expect or anticipate encountering an armed intruder, why not take the few seconds to don body armor? The SecPro CVIIIA Concealable Vest Level IIIA will also fit this scenario very well. Again, it dons quickly (I know this because I’ve run into the locker room late for a patrol shift and had to put on my body armor quickly) and in addition to having ballistic properties, body armor can also serve as a barrier to edged weapons. While there is no standard of testing for ballistic panels for such protection, there is a large body of work from various agencies that show how ballistic panels will reduce stab and cut wounds. I was once attacked by a police dog (long story) who bit at my torso. The shirt was destroyed but the body armor protected me from what would have likely been serious bite wounds. With prices that start at less than $200, the Security Pro line of body armor offers excellent value and protection. It’s cheap insurance that may very well pay off in a big way. Check them out at https://www.securityprousa.com/
About the writer
Military and Law Enforcement Veteran
FBI certified firearm instructor
MP5 and Sub Machine gun instructor
Defensive tactics instructor
Police Academy instructor