Body Armor for Non Specialist LEO

For non-specialist law enforcement officers (LEO), the range of situations they face varies depending on their particular duties. For patrol officers and first-responders – who may enter a range of situations outside the requirements of specialist officers – the level of danger they face in a given shift will vary.

Depending on the specifics of a call or neighborhood, patrol officers could be attending a small domestic dispute with no immediate risk, or responding to a violent incident – preparation for all situations is key. First-responders may also enter locations in which violent individuals or gunfire pose a threat, demanding a certain level of preparation to stay as safe as possible while they perform their job.

Body armor is vital to officers in all areas of law enforcement, worn when the risk of gunfire is definite or highly suspected, but for patrol officers walking through multiple neighborhoods in one shift, or waiting for calls from all around their district, knowing the level of danger to expect can be difficult. So how do they know which is the right body armor?

The Best Vest: Staying Safe on Duty

Non-specialist officers should have access to body armor whenever needed, from across all types of vests available. While the most-commonly worn armor among officers are bullet proof vests – as guns are the biggest danger they're likely to encounter on the streets – stab & spike protection is also available.

“I believe officers should look for a vest that is the correct threat level to stop the ammunition that they are carrying in their service weapon in case the weapon is taken from them in a confrontation. Also look for a vest that is comfortable and the correct size.” – Capt.Clint Reck (

Bullet proof vests are designed to stop a round by absorbing its energy on impact – this will cause it to slow, and flatten the tip. These vests are generally made with Kevlar, which has decades of proven success among the law-enforcement community: this synthetic fiber is woven into tight grids and arranged into multiple layers. There are five levels of protection available, according to the current standard of testing created by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), offering defense against many types of ammunition, from those fired by handguns to armor-piercing rounds.

Certain bullet proof vests (those at level III and IV) feature ballistic plates (made of steel or ceramics) which stop the most high-velocity bullets. These vests are typically worn by SWAT teams and officers responding to calls involving the risk of gunfire; however, officers may not feel wearing such heavy-duty armor is needed when on general patrol, preferring vests at a lower level (such as IIIA) instead, which provide protection against 9mm and other handgun bullets.

“First responders should also find that lower-level bullet proof vests provide the all-round protection they need when responding to calls”. – says a body armor expert from SafeGuard ARMOR bullet proof vests

Stab and spike protection can be added to most bullet proof vests, allowing officers of all types to enjoy a more comprehensive range of defense. Stab armor is made with an extra-tight weave of Kevlar, which creates friction against blades to stop them tearing through; spike armor's weave is even tighter, with gaps between fibers narrow enough to trap pointed tips. If suspects are carrying knives or hypodermic needles (a risk in areas with high drug rates) then these types of protection can help to maximize an officer's safety.

Regardless of the type of armor an officer wears – across general patrol and first-responder duties – the right fit is essential: choosing an ill-fitting armor can leave the wearer uncomfortable and distracted at times when they need their focus and concentration to be at its strongest. Before ordering, an officer should measure their height and chest to ensure the best fit.

About SafeGuard ARMOR ™

SafeGuard ARMOR™ is a world-leading premium body armor designer and manufacturer. We have been selling our body armor to thousands of individuals and companies across the world. We have been established for over 7 years, we have grown from a small operation selling bullet proof vests to local companies, to one of the largest body armor companies in the world. We now manufacture our body armor in the U.S. and Europe, and have multiple distribution points around the world.

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