Protect and serve. That is the motto of every police force in our great nation. Law enforcement officers have one of the hardest jobs out there; the lengths they go to in order to ensure our safety should be commended. However, recently police officers have been getting a lot of negative attention and some even fear for their lives whenever they put on the badge. Making sure that civilians are safe shouldn?t mean that their lives are now in danger. In these moments of fear, there have been instances where officers have made poor decisions that have led to collateral damage, injury, and even death. In order to help protect the protectors and ensure police safety, body armor clothing should be issued to all police officers.
Body armor clothing is the next step in police safety. According to government data, during the last decade there were nearly 60,000 assaults a year on police officers. With this increase in attacks on officers, a need for body armor for police is on the rise. Body armor for law enforcement can help keep police officers safe, and in doing so, make them approach situations with more confidence, meaning less accidental deaths. However, this would not just help with reducing the number of civilian casualties, but also with the number of police officer deaths as well. Over one-third of law enforcement officer deaths over the last 10 years were caused by gunshots, making shootings the second leading cause of police officer death (after motor vehicle crashes). This is a saddening number, that can be drastically lowered with the aid of body armor clothing.
Armor vests have saved the lives of more than 3,000 law enforcement officers over the past three decades. Tactical body armor and tactical gear has been used by law enforcement officers for years. Due to the jump in numbers of civilians fighting against police officers, extra measures need to be taken in order to ensure the safety of both parties involved. The chance of dying from a gunshot wound to the torso is 3.4 times higher for officers who do not wear armor vests. Ballistic body armor has been proven to save lives. If more officers used them, then there would be a greater chance that they will feel safer when approaching offenders and be able to bring them in without having to use deadly force.
According to a survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 71% of local police departments in 2013 required officers to wear armor vests at all times. The 20% of officers who died from a gunshot wound to the torso while wearing body armor died because they were shot with ammunition that was more powerful than their body armor?s capability to stop it. Bulletproof vests for police officers are another form of body armor clothing that can help save their lives.
FBI data shows that 66 law enforcement officers were criminally killed in the line of duty in 2016. Of the 66 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2016, 62 were assaulted with firearms. Officers should not only protect themselves against melee attacks, but from firearms as well.
We live in times where terrorists can attack at any moment and more and more people are getting access to guns. To help better serve and protect, as well as make sure that they return home safely after patrol, police officers need to invest in body armor clothing and make police safety guaranteed.