Being a police offer or law enforcement official is often a dangerous career path, with more than sixty thousand assaults on police officers throughout the United States in the last year alone. Deaths among law enforcement officials are also often not uncommon and nearly half of all police officer deaths are the result of gun shot wounds and, after motor vehicle crashes and accidents alone, are the top leading cause of death among law enforcement officials. In fact, nearly seventy police officers were considered to be criminally killed in 2016 alone, according to FBI data and up to thirty three police officers have been killed by their own weapon in the last ten years alone. Of the sixty six who died, the vast majority – more than sixty of the deaths – resulted from an assault with a firearm and the subsequent fatal gunshot wound.
Fortunately, there are a number of different ways to help protect law enforcement officials from these threats to their lives. From using reactive targets to incorporating tactical gear and tactical body armor into the police force, many police lives can be saved. While using reactive targets is an important part of training and using reactive targets is very impactful in reducing police deaths and severe injuries, arguably the use of bulletproof vests is one of the most effective ways to curb the rates of police deaths in the United States. In fact, nearly ninety police officers in New York state have had their lives saved by body armor since it first began to be implemented in the United States in the 1980’s. Around the country, more than three thousand lives have been saved in the same time period thanks to a greater widespread use of bulletproof vests for police officers and other protective body armor. And the utilization of using reactive targets as well as incorporating body armor has become more and more common in all places in the United States, with more than seventy percent of all law enforcement departments making such safety practices as using reactive targets and wearing bulletproof body armor required and mandatory among the members of the police force. These law enforcement establishment require their police officers and other law enforcement officials to wear protective body armor apparel at all times while they are on the clock.
Being a police officer or other type of law enforcement official is often a difficult job, especially in the United States. There are many dangers associated with it, such as motor vehicle crashes and gun shot wounds, that have the potential to lead to the loss of an officer’s life or their severe injury. Unfortunately, sometimes the weapons that the law enforcement officers carry are even turned against them, and they are killed with their own weapons. Becoming a police officer or other law enforcement officer or official means accepting a certain level of risk and being prepared for a worst case scenario.
Fortunately, utilizing officer protective gear such as bulletproof vests and using reactive targets can help to reduce the risk of officer deaths while on the job. In fact, more and more police departments all around the United States are making it a requirement for officers to wear these protective articles of clothing at all times while on the clock. Reducing officer deaths is an important task to take on, and success has been seen with the implementation of such safety measures throughout the country. The reduction of officer deaths is possible with the use of body armor and through using reactive targets.