Level 4 Body Armor | Why Police Need More Protection

Level 4 Body Armor | Why Police Need More Protection
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As a company that specializes in providing ballistic protection to law enforcement and members of the military, we take their safety as seriously as possible. Many of our readers have read about many of the organizations that we follow to gain information and work with to help protect. Today’s blog will introduce our readers to one of the most popular police organizations in the country, called Police1. Our goal is to show our nation's LEOs why they need to have more protection in today's world. 

Who is Police1?

Police1 is an organization that provides news, training, gear, intelligence, and jobs for LEOs all across the country. In short, it’s a one-stop shop for everything related to policing. Obviously, there are many organizations that help LEOs, but Police1 is one of the most popular among officers. 

Police1 keeps track of all the issues involving police around the country, from the use of force, officers killed, and ways to help prevent loss of life. Police1 offers many products that are tested, reviewed, and promoted by active and former LEOs. If you’re an LEO and haven't heard of Police1, you really should check it out and subscribe to their site for exclusive training videos, news, and discounts on products related to your job.

WHY DO WE BELIEVE POLICE OFFICERS NEED MORE PROTECTION?

The majority of police across the country normally wear level IIIA body armor or soft inserts as their everyday ballistic protection. There is nothing wrong with Level IIIA body armor, but it’s only going to stop handgun bullets. 

According to Police1, 37 LEOs have been murdered in the first 5 months of 2021, compared to 47 in all of 2021. Unfortunately, that number doesn’t include the 4 officers murdered this month (July 2021). The fact that we still have 5 months to go and we’ve already reached the entire number from last year is frightening. 

As you’ve read in our previous blogs, ambush attacks on officers are spiking in the wrong direction and we will undoubtedly see more LEOs killed in the line of duty. According to The Hill and the National Fraternal Order of Police, ambush attacks on officers are up 91% since this time last year. Officers need better equipment and training to deal with this growing threat and, although we can’t provide the training, ShotStop® can provide the best ballistic protection for our community heroes. 

Even as I write this, 4 officers were shot and one killed in Lubbock Texas today. As our hearts break over this senseless and heinous crime, we offer our deepest condolences to the families and officers involved. According to the report, the suspect (which we’ll never name) opened fire on officers with a long rifle, killing Officer Bartlett. I have no idea what type of body armor the officers were wearing and won’t assume out of respect to those officers. However, this exact incident is why we highly encourage LEOs across the country to wear at least Level 3 body armor, instead of the soft insert Level IIIA body armor. 

Police1 Body Armor Recommendation

We’re never in the business of talking down a company or product, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least try to educate our LEOs on why Duritium® armor is better than anything they have on their site. 

The most important characteristics of ShotStop® is our integrity and transparency. You will never see a product on our website that says we’re NIJ-Listed under any protection level without providing the evidence for you to see for yourself. The top “Level IV” ballistic vest on Police1 states that it’s NIJ-Listed under Level IV protection. 

However, according to the NIJ and the Criminal Justice Testing and Evaluation Consortium, Bluestone Level 4 plate isn’t listed. To add to that, they state that it’s in compliance with the NIJ 0101.04 standards. One of the many problems with this is that the NIJ 0101.04 standards are decades old (2001) and do not meet the standards of today. There have been two updates to these standards since then that reflect modern technology. 

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Ballistics have changed drastically in the past 10 years and our understanding of ballistic protection has had to change with them. Unfortunately, we see this way too often where companies try to sell gear that is not listed under the NIJ and still claim that it’s in compliance with federal testing standards. Please educate yourselves before you buy ballistic protection products that may work, but maybe not. 

ShotStop® believes to our core that LEOs have enough to worry about without thinking if their ballistic vest will work or not. As harsh as this seems, we only care about the safety and well-being of the men and women who protect us with their lives. We understand that testing is incredibly expensive and cuts deeply into profits, but standards are there for a reason. 

Another concern is that these companies that are supported by Police1 don’t even mention the specifications of their plates. It’s no secret as to why companies conveniently leave that information out. Using full ceramic plates may be cheaper than modern technology, but it’s much heavier, bulky, and will most likely not stop multiple hits from a high-powered rifle. 

If you’re interested in more information about our thoughts on full-ceramic plates, read our blog Why You Shouldn’t Wear Steel or Full Ceramic Body Armor.

How ShotStop® Can Help

I was having a conversation with my brother-in-law (Sheriff-Deputy in Radford, VA) this past weekend as we spent all day smoking a brisket on his new smoker. I noticed he had a vest hanging up outside to dry from the sweltering heat that he has to patrol in every day. He informed me that all the officers in every department he’s worked in wears Level IIIA body armor because it’s the lightest and most comfortable armor they can wear without interfering with the daily grind of the job. 

A huge misconception about Level 4 body armor has always been it’s too bulky, heavy, and uncomfortable. However, ShotStop® can help by showing all of our community protectors that Level 4 body armor doesn’t have to be heavy and bulky. 

DURITIUM® LEVEL IV+HS BODY ARMOR

We now have 2 Level 4 body armor plates that are not only stand-alone plate insets but are lighter, thinner, and more comfortable than any other ballistic plate on the planet. Our Duritium® Level IV+HS plate is our NIJ-Listed plate that will stop any bullet fired from a handheld gun with multiple strikes. This plate is 5.3 lbs and under 1” thick while still maintaining certification from the NATO Stanag standards for NATO troops. 

The average warranty, which holds up with what you’ll find on Police1, is only 5 years for Level IV body armor. You will get our Duritium® Level IV+HS plate with a guaranteed 10-year warranty because we believe in our product that much. 

DURITIUM® LEVEL IV+HA BODY ARMOR

For the sake of transparency, our Duritium® Level IV+HA Body Armor isn’t yet NIJ-listed, but it’s almost finished with the testing. We have no doubt that it will comply with both NATO STANAG and NIJ standards for Level IV protection, however. The testing process is long and thorough, which we believe all LEOs deserve. 

Duritium® Level IV+HA Body Armor is going to be our pride and joy with an unprecedented weight and low profile. I almost couldn't believe it when I first saw the plate in action, but it’s only 4.5 lbs per plate and will stop armor-piercing bullets from a Dragunov sniper rifle. There is no other plate in the world that boasts the specifications, durability, and performance of our new Level IV+HA plate. 

As for my brother-in-law, his vest and insert weigh 4 lbs and sticks to his body like he glued the vest to his skin after a long 12-14 hour shift. Our Duritium® plate dissipates heat better than any other Level IV plate, as well. As all LEOs know by now, you normally have to take your shirt off from the bottom and roll it inside out because the sweat and grime of the day are stuck to your skin. With our Duritium® technology, those days are over and all you have to do is contact our sales team at sales@shotstop.com to get started. Please stay safe out there and we thank you all for your service to our communities. 


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