Our readers have read a lot about law enforcement body armor and the types we suggest for police officers. As the border crisis gets worse, our U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents are put into more harm.
With many people around the world searching for security and safety, they turn to the United States for a better quality of life.
Our CBP agents are encountering hostilities on a daily basis from “Coyotes”, drug cartels, and terrorists trying to enter the border under false pretenses.
My goal today is to show our protectors at the border that ShotStop® has your back and would love to help keep you safe.
First, I would like to help every other reader understand what the Border Patrol does and who they are.
What is the Mission For the U.S. Customs and Border Protection?
The mission of the CBP can be broken down into 5 different priorities they deem necessary.
The 5 priorities listed below each come with its own responsibilities and dangers. The CBP calls these 5 priorities their “Enduring Mission Priorities”.
- Counter Terrorism- The CBP works with all intelligence agencies in the federal government to anticipate, detect, and disrupt any terrorist from gaining access to our country.
- Combat Transnational Crime- An example of a transnational crime organization would be the Taliban, drug cartels, or the infamous MS-13 gang. The CBP actively takes the fight to these criminal organizations to keep drugs and violence out of our borders.
- Secure the Border- The CBP uses every tool they have to ensure the border is secured and kept in good order. They must be able to patrol through the water, air, and land to prevent illegal access to our nation from people who wish to do us harm.
- Facilitate Lawful Trade and Protect Revenue- The CBP is the organization responsible for enabling fair trade and enforcing U.S. law for organizations bringing goods in/out of our country.
- Facilitate Lawful Travel- Border patrol agents are also responsible for preventing and responding to threats through border checkpoints. Everyone must have a passport and/or other identification to enter the border legally.
What is the Legal Authority of Border Patrol Agents?
Many people know so little about the Border Patrol that they don’t know what authority they have.
To keep things simple, CBP agents are federal agents acting under the authority of the federal government.
What Can Border Patrol Agents Do as Federal Agents?
According to the Cornell Law School, agents follow the Immigration and Nationality Act 287(a)(3) and copied in 8 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 287 (a)(3).
In short, CBP agents can arrest, detain, or execute search warrants on American soil.
According to the CBP, an agent can "within a reasonable distance from any external boundary of the United States...board and search for non-citizens in any vessel within the territorial waters of the United States and any railcar, aircraft, conveyance, or vehicle. 8 CFR 287 (a)(1) defines a reasonable distance as 100 air miles from the border.”
This means that if you’re driving near a border and you get pulled over by a CBP agent, you must comply because they have federal jurisdiction to act as police officers.
It’s their job to ensure human and drug traffickers are prevented from operating along our border.
Are Border Patrol Agents at High Risk?
Now we all have an understanding of who the CBP are and what they can do, it’s important to understand the risk they face.
Most police officers in the country will face down a handgun in their career and maybe a rifle.
Border Patrol agents face off against some of the most dangerous drug cartels and terrorist organizations everyday.
If a CBP agent pulls over a guy with 100 lbs of drugs in the back seat, he’s less likely to go down without a fight.
It’s not like international drug cartels don’t know that if they’re caught, they’re going to prison forever. This scenario is one faced everyday by CBP agents and it increases the risk tenfold.
Which Plates are Best for Border Patrol?
The best plates for one person may not be the best plates for another. With the dangerous mission of securing and protecting our borders, our agents need to consider special threats.
These threats are armor-piercing bullets fired from sei-automatic and automatic rifles.
1. Duritium® GT2-Green Tip Armor Plate
Our Duritium® GT2 armor plate is a Level III special threat plate designed for combatting M855 62 Grain 5.56x45mm NATO bullets.
To be as transparent as possible, I’d like to mention this is our only plate that is not NIJ-Listed.
The reason we didn’t get this plate listed under the NIJ is because we wanted to focus on a military plate that complies with military specifications (Mil-Spec).
The NIJ 0101.06 (current standard) does not call out the M855/SS109 round.
Our Duritium® GT2 armor plate will function in the same way as our other Level III plates, but it’s certified through Mil-Spec as a special threat plate.
The GT2 is meant for soldiers or federal agents that encounter more lethal fire-power from international and national criminal organizations.
Normally the higher risk crime that a CBP agent will encounter will be accompanied by higher caliber rifles and more deadly bullets, such as the M855 Green Tip.
Why Should I Wear the Duritium® GT2 armor plate?
International criminal organizations don’t care about who they harm, as long as they get paid.
It’s been a fact for many decades now that drug and human traffickers are using M855 bullets to get past soft body armor.
The Duritium® GT2 armor plate will handle multiple hits from a 5.56x45mm NATO M855 bullet. Even at the full size front plate (10x12”), it’s only 3.8 lbs per plate and 0.6” thick.
This allows the border protection agent to keep a low-profile, improve mobility, and allow for much freer cross-arm movements.
There are a lot of nasty bullets that are designed to defeat modern body armor. The Duritium® GT2 armor plate will let you rest knowing your armor will stop armor-piercing bullets.
What is an M855 Green-Tip Bullet?
The M855 Green-Tip bullet was originally designed for military use to punch through drywall and vehicles.
It turns out that the M855 isn’t armor-piercing, but the new M855A1 is an armor-piercing bullet, according to the ATF.
The Duritium® GT2 armor plate is also specially rated to stop the M855A1 bullet. Buying this armor will ensure your safety against some of the most dangerous criminals in the world that come to our border to do harm to our people.
2. Duritium® Level IV+HA Plate
Depending on your job with the CBP, you could very well need the highest protection level body armor.
For example, if you’re doing counter-terrorism work, chances are the men and women you’re going after have illegal and very deadly high-caliber rifles.
The Duritium® Level IV+HA plate is tested and rated to stop a 30-06 Armor-Piercing with multiple strikes.
At only 4.5 lbs per plate for the standard front plate, this is the best protection that you can get anywhere in the world.
Why Should I Wear the Duritium® Level IV+HA plate?
This was my 2nd choice because Level IV armor isn’t needed by every federal agent.
Most of the time a Level III armor plate will do enough to save your life, but this plate is made for the most dangerous of jobs inside the CBP.
This armor plate will stop any bullet fired from a handheld, shoulder-fired rifle. My recommendation is to go with the 8.75x11.75” plate instead of the standard 10x12” plate.
I recommend the unique sized plate because it gives the agent more flexibility and easier cross-arm movement and covers more of your torso at the same time.
By trimming down the plate, mainly on the sides, we’re offering our border patrol agents a Level IV plate under 4 lbs (3.8 lbs) for the first time ever!
For those who need to be as mobile as possible and need the highest level of protection there is nothing lighter, thinner, and more reliable than our Duritium® Level IV+HA plate.
3. Duritium® Level III+PA Plate
If someone asked me which armor I’d rather wear everyday on duty, there is no doubt that I would choose the Duritium® Level III+PA plate.
It’s known as our fastest and lightest stand-alone Level III plate.
For me, I always preferred to wear as little weight as possible in a warzone and on patrol. There is just no overstating the importance of having your full mobility as you encounter and take on threats.
The Duritium® Level III+PA plate is only 2.7 lbs for the standard 10x12” plate and only 0.7” thick.
For Level III armor, there is no other company that can offer a stand-alone NIJ-Listed plate with the specs matching our Duritium® Level III+PA plate.
Why Should I Wear the Duritium® Level III+PA Plate?
I absolutely love the 9.5x12.5” plate because it narrows the sides of the plate to allow for more mobility, flexibility, and freedom of movement.
The extra half inch covers more of your lower torso, so you don’t have to worry about taking gut shots under your armor plate.
There is a saying in sports, especially football that “speed kills”. There is no secret why many of our nation's elite commandos wear as little armor as possible.
There is no way to utilize your athleticism and speed if you're carrying too much weight.
Carrying 2.9 lbs per plate for a Level III will allow you to use your speed and mobility without losing your high level protection. It’s like having your cake and eating it too.
Why Should the CBP Choose ShotStop®?
We realize that many federal workers are under the impression that they can’t afford the best armor on the market.
We’d like to inform all federal organizations in need of ballistic protection that they will be given a substantial discount when buying for larger parties.
For example, if one CBP organization wants to order armor for all their agents, we will ensure that you’re given the best price.
As we’ve stated before, we love to make money, but our number one priority is to provide the best ballistic protection to those who protect us.
If you’re interested in learning more about how ShotStop® can help you, contact our sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org.