From the battlefield to the beat: How one company is using its military expertise to build better body armor for LEOs
Initially designed for the U.S. military, Crye Precision’s body armor, field apparel and accessories combine personal protection with gear that is lightweight and comfortable
Sponsored by Crye Precision
By James Careless for Police1 BrandFocus
If you have ever seen the U.S. Army’s modern MultiCam camouflage clothing, then you’ve seen the inspired thinking of Crye Precision. Based in Brooklyn, New York, Crye Precision started out in 2000 and quickly gained a reputation for designing and manufacturing innovative military body armor and field apparel.
It didn’t take long for Crye Precision’s practical, lightweight military gear to catch the attention of law enforcement.
“By 2007, we were making tactical protective equipment and apparel for the FBI to meet their special mission needs,” said Ernesto Rodriguez, director of marketing at Crye Precision. “After that, SWAT teams in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles started using our gear as well. This motivated us to focus on the law enforcement market and its particular requirements in 2013.”
Today, Crye Precision makes a line of body armor, field apparel and accessories specifically tailored to the needs of law enforcement. All these products are designed to provide law enforcement officers with maximum protection, mobility and ease of use in all situations. To ensure that its new products meet law enforcement needs, Crye Precision consults LE experts and officers through its development, manufacturing and testing process.
Body armor that is functional and fits well
The bulkiness, stiffness and unmistakable appearance of traditional body armor has long posed challenges to LEOs, especially plainclothes and undercover officers who can’t afford to look like they’re wearing protective vests under civilian clothes.
Crye Precision’s concealable body armor avoids these problems, thanks to the company’s proprietary LVS system. Its 3D forming technology is used to mold the vests to match the shape of the human body.
“Not only does this make our LVS base vest comfortable to wear – even against bare skin – but our molded armor does not crumple and fold into the carrier’s bottom seam as other armor can,” said Patrick Bacon, the company’s law enforcement user representative.
That’s not all: The LVS base vest is made from antimicrobial fabrics, so wearing it against skin won’t cause irritation or odor issues. Two wide hook-and-loop fastener bands on each side also make the LVS base vest easy to put on, adjust and take off in seconds.
The LVS base vest’s flexibility allows it to go from being a patrol vest to a tactical entry vest or anything in between. It is NIJ IIIA ballistic certified and made in the U.S. from U.S. materials.
The LVS system includes a variety of options to customize the armor to a variety of needs, including:
- A range of camouflaged covers (in various designs including MultiCam).
- Front plate carriers and side protective panels for added anti-ballistic protection.
- Tactical soft armor pouch sets.
Lightweight vests for emergencies
For LEOs who don’t normally wear vests but store them in the car for active shooter incidents, Crye Precision makes the Jumpable Plate Carrier lightweight vest system. Weighing just over 1 pound for the entire carrier, the JPC offers a variety of configuration options to suit an officer’s need to carry equipment while maintaining a free range of motion and wearer comfort.
The JPC comes with the company’s proprietary Skeletal cummerbund system and patented integrated attachment system, which lets officers mount pouches on both the inside and outside of the cummerbund, avoiding unnecessary weight and bulk while improving ventilation to keep them comfortable.
Smart shirts, pants and more
The company offers law enforcement gear beyond body armor, including shirts, pants and other garments designed for high performance and comfort, such as its pull-on plain torso shirts with short neck zippers, for added comfort.
“It isn’t comfortable to wear body armor on top of traditional four-button field shirts,” Bacon said. “Meanwhile, our combat pants come with built-in stretch panels, external pockets and flexible shields to maximize motion and joint protection.”
Head protection is another priority. Designed to meet NIJ IIIA standards, the AirFrame ATX helmet uses an overlapping shell design to include an integrated vent. The vent enables passive cooling of the wearer’s head while reducing trauma due to explosive blast waves, and it can accommodate accessories like chops (ear/jaw shields) and rails above the ears.
The right equipment for the job
It is tougher than ever to be a law enforcement officer. This is why LEOs need the very best body armor and gear that is as tough and reliable as it is lightweight and comfortable. This is why the FBI and many SWAT teams adopted Crye Precision’s law enforcement gear years ago, and why other police departments are buying their body armor and field apparel today.
Visit Crye Precision for more information.
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