Security officers, whether uniformed or plain-clothed, carry a variety of equipment with them on their service spot. Officers in uniform carry much more equipment than those in plain clothes, and members of special operations teams, such as crowd-control and swat units, carry even more, sometimes including full body armor complete with helmet, plate, leg pads, and shield.
There are lots of tons of body armor options out there for individual and department first responders to choose among. From soft inserts to carriers to ceramic plates, which ones are right for your requirements? To choose the best for you, let’s go through some things to consider while one. Consider the various types of threat levels, armor, and certification processes. The use of plate carriers by responsible people and police is on the rise every day.
Officers wear their soft body armor when they’re on duty. But what if they have to respond to a school shooting or other incident that might involve rounds your armor isn’t rated to stop. The hard armor plates that fit inside back and front pockets in armor carriers offer protection against armor-piercing rounds, and some protect against rifle rounds. Level 3 plates are becoming quite popular these days due to their ceramic composite material, lightweight construction, weatherproof nature and these are also available in multiple sizes.
Hard plates are made from three basic materials: ceramic, steel, polyethylene, or combinations of materials.
These types of hard plates are highly effective. Choosing among them comes down to a question of weight vs. cost. Ceramic plates are quite expensive but offer significant weight savings. This is really good when carrying lots of other gears often strapped to a plate carrier. These types of ceramic plates have excellent stopping power. The main drawback to ceramic is its susceptibility to damage not just from bullets but from everyday activities such as dropping it into the trunk of a patrol car. These plates have been around for so long because they work greatly and efficiently. But they do have some downsides related to their construction. Materials aren’t the only differences in armor plates. The shapes and sizes available have changed significantly over the years.
Deciding what plates to buy and their use is not easy, but it helps to look at the available options. It comes down to the level of threat you need protection from and the material that will best satisfy your operational and cost considerations. Correct-fitting armor encourages officers to wear it, increasing the odds they will go home at the end of the shift. Whichever armor you choose, it is required to fit right to work right. One of the biggest complaints about body armor in general is it’s uncomfortable because it doesn’t fit correctly and perfectly or quite bulky. Armor can hinder the mission, or worse, get left at the station or trunk when it needs to be protecting the officer. In the end, plate carriers are an amazing tool as long as you set them up properly. They offer enhanced operational and enhanced protection capability. As the active shooter incidents are constantly increasing, individual officers are becoming more interested in purchasing hard armor plates.