What Level Body Armor Does The Police Wear?
Blog

What Level Body Armor Does The Police Wear?

07 May 2020
Share on

While there are standard requirements when it comes to body armor for law enforcement officers, each department and State jurisdiction will have their small differences. Either for political, social, or objective reasons, some departments will use different types of vests.

But, the overall types can be categorized by the type of mission where they will be used. These types of police body armor are:

  • Internal Soft Body Armor
  • Covert Body Armor
  • Soft External Carriers
  • Hybrid Soft and Hard Plate Carriers
  • Plate Carriers with Auxiliary Armor

Additionally, while some police officers will prefer to wear external carriers because of both comfort and utility, certain jurisdictions won’t allow this to happen. Due to political reasons and public relations, many departments opt to wear armor under the shirt.

Regardless, there is no police department in the country that will place their officers in more danger than they have to be. When it comes to equipping task-forces and teams for a specific mission, protection will take priority over appearance.

Finally, there are now multiple types of soft armor that can be woven into regular clothes. When it comes to detectives and investigators working covertly, this is usually the go-to option.

Police Militarization

While this question will often be portrayed as a strictly partisan issue, it is far from it. And, in being a cheerleader for one side or the other we often fail to see the real problems that come from and influence the militarization of police departments.

Primarily, there is the issue of ‘’use it or lose it’’ when it comes to taking in surplus equipment from the military. Because police budgets are always strained, no department will ever miss an opportunity for a gift. This is how small PDs are left with multi-purpose combat vehicles.

Ironically, this both drains the funds of the department due to maintenance and damages the reputation of the neighborhood. When people see tanks on the street they assume that crime has reached its peak.

Also, they might be in more danger because more criminals are ready to shoot back in fear of their life.

Thus, this might be bringing a cleaver to a surgery. Not a set of ideal tools.

Daily Rounds

When it comes to daily rounds and general law enforcement, most officers will opt to wear an NIJ Level II vest under their uniform. These vests are generally light and easy to carry around, meaning that you can spend the whole day wearing them.

As for durability, they are made to withstand all but the biggest handgun rounds. And as 9/10 crimes are perpetrated with a 9mm weapon it will be enough to stop it. If there is a perpetrator with a rifle, the officer will not engage before they call for backup and pick up their plate carrier from the vehicle.

But, for regular use, a standard-issue pistol and a soft ballistic bulletproof vest are more than enough to serve and protect on a daily basis.

Covert Missions

Covert missions such as surveillance and crowd control have become increasingly popular as a police tactic in recent years. Being incorporated into the crowd allows officers to calmly survey everyone inside and protect the participants without raising alarm or suspicion.

For such occasions, police departments will usually use covert ballistic clothing. This type of clothing protects the person wearing them even from stray bullets to the body while allowing for unrestricted movement.

Answering Calls

In most cases, when a group of officers is answering a direct distress call it is for something serious. And with a high probability of a shootout, external carriers will be vastly preferable to internal vests.

In recent years, these external carriers will usually be a hybrid with a hard plate centering an NIJ Level III soft armor vest. This way both fatal and disabling wounds are mostly prevented.

Additionally, such carriers allow for carrying additional gear such as flash-bangs, different types of ammo, as well as medkits. And while they are not at the level of SWAT operations, these setups are quite formidable for law enforcement. 

Armed Suspect Apprehension

Depending on the situation, most teams will usually opt not to engage the suspect directly if at all possible. By using other tools such as flash grenades and tear gas it is usually easier to force a surrender than to attach head-on.

But, when there is a high probability of armed conflict, every cop should wear both an external carrier and a helmet.

Suspects are often irrational in stressful situations and there needs to be a contingency for a scenario where they start shooting randomly even though there is no escape. The ‘wounded animal’ syndrome is very common and all PD teams learn how to handle them.

SWAT Action

Special Weapons And Tactics transcends regular law enforcement and makes suspect apprehension more alike to a battlefield. There are usually multiple armed suspects, a lack of information about the terrain, and a high chance of explosive traps.

Because of these conditions, SWAT members will have both the vest, the helmet, and the auxiliary armor. Additionally, the point of entry will be covered by a shield and only enter after the reconnaissance robot. 

Political Issues

Some entities in the current political climate seem to request a strong stance even on the very existence of a police force as such. But the truth is that as long as we live in a community we will need people tasked with protecting the said community.

And if we are not paying them, we will become the merchandise. Nothing comes for free.

But, as is the case with every job in every community, we need to work in weeding out the crazies. Especially in this job, it is paramount that our girls and boys in blue are protected by both the community and the administration from the malicious elements from the inside.

In the end, the only thing that can stop a bad cop is a good cop. And thankfully, those are in the majority.

Related articles
06 Sep 2020
Blog
What Body Armor Do Special Forces Use?
Through popular media, there is the idea that ‘The Special Forces’, or the popularly called ‘Green Berets’  for the SOF in the Army, have some sort of advanced equipment that makes them better than everyone else. Regretfully, that is not the case, and it is not a question of what body armor do Special Forces use, or which guns, but how they use them. The reason why all branches of Special Forces are so superior is due to harsh training...
What Body Armor Do Special Forces Use?
01 Aug 2020
Blog
What Does Level 2 Body Armor Stop?
When talking about levels of ballistic armor, we usually refer to the National Institute of Justice and their NIJ ballistic standard. In this context, we can know how armor is tested and what types of ammo does NIJ Level 2 body armor stop. Additionally, the armor might be referred to as NIJ Level II using Roman numerals, as these styles are used interchangeably. There are four main levels for the NIJ standard: IIa – Soft/ anti-9mm armor.II – Against automatic...
What Does Level 2 Body Armor Stop?
15 Jul 2020
Blog
Where Can I Buy Interceptor Body Armor?
Regardless of preference and marital status, anyone who served tours in Iraq or Afghanistan had two loves: Molly and Alice. Namely, these are both parts of the IBA body armor that was the standard for the US Army and Navy troops from 2000 to 2020.  MOLLE (pronounced Molly) refers to the modular webbing on the armor that allows for attaching various types of gear. And ALICE stands for All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment, which is for lugging around standard gear....
Where Can I Buy Interceptor Body Armor?
08 Jun 2020
Blog
When Does Body Armor Expire?
Although it may look very sturdy, and its main purpose is to stop a bullet, a ballistic vest is not indestructible. Even with proper maintenance, body armor will expire at some point, and it is recommended that you exchange your plates at least once every five years. Additionally, any type of wear and tear, especially exposure to very low temperatures and direct sunlight, will reduce this time significantly. There are three questions to ask when deciding if it’s time to...
When Does Body Armor Expire?
07 May 2020
Blog
What Level Body Armor Does The Police Wear?
While there are standard requirements when it comes to body armor for law enforcement officers, each department and State jurisdiction will have their small differences. Either for political, social, or objective reasons, some departments will use different types of vests. But, the overall types can be categorized by the type of mission where they will be used. These types of police body armor are: Internal Soft Body ArmorCovert Body ArmorSoft External CarriersHybrid Soft and Hard Plate CarriersPlate Carriers with Auxiliary...
What Level Body Armor Does The Police Wear?
01 May 2020
Blog
What Is Body Armor Used for?
When asked so broadly what is body armor used for there is no other answer than defense. But, as we start to narrow down the question we can get more information about what we can defend from and how. Ballistic body armor is made to protect from bullets, and there are big differences when it comes to types of ballistic armor, their hardness, weight, and levels of protection. Each piece will protect a different part of your body and may...
What Is Body Armor Used for?
29 Apr 2020
Blog
Difference between Level III and Level IIIa Body Armor
Probably the biggest confusion in the world of personal defense is the difference between Level III and Level IIIa body armor. Not only do they sound very similar, but it is also confusing that IIIa refers to a significantly lower level of ballistic protection than Level III. Also, even though the standard is to write the NIJ ballistic levels of protection in Roman numbers, there are blogs and even manufacturers who will use regular numbers and issue products as NIJL3a...
Difference between Level III and Level IIIa Body Armor
27 Apr 2020
Blog
What Is Body Armor Made of?
Although the collective terms for body armor doesn’t actually specify what is body armor made of when talking about ballistic protection we have some tried and tested materials. For those of us who haven’t been to the proper schools to know the exact processes of how these fibers and ceramics work, we need to observe how they act and what their purpose is. There are two distinct categories of body armor, soft and hard, and each have been made with...
What Is Body Armor Made of?
26 Apr 2020
Blog
How Heavy Is Military Body Armor?
If you want to know exactly how heavy military body armor is, imagine gaining 30lbs and needing to run, jump, and climb. Then there is the backpack and everything you need to carry in it. While not as hard at first, after a while the weight gets to you, ankles start aching, feet start swelling, and you just stop having such a swell good time. There are three sets of armor that a soldier might wear when deployed: Plate CarrierFront...
How Heavy Is Military Body Armor?
22 Apr 2020
Blog
How Effective Is Our Body Armor?
Humans started dreaming about being impervious to damage the first time one caveman smashed another with a club. We don’t like being hurt and always wonder how effective is our body armor and how much do we need to become untouchable. Sadly, there is no such thing as a perfect piece of armor that will protect you from anything at all times. The best we can do is to try to predict the risk we might face and take the...
How Effective Is Our Body Armor?
On request of found 0 products
On request of found 2 news
EN UA

Save preference
Thank you!
To claim your discount, please click the link in the email you received.
If you don’t see the email, check your spam or promotion folder.
SUBSCRIBE & GET $10
Stay the best in the game with high-quality products and the best deals!
Your subscription was successful!
Skip
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5-7 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 33-53 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 28-48 inches
No suitable size found
BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
CUMMERBAND SIZE
S
M
L
XL
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 39
39 - 42
43 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5-7 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 33-49 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 28-44 inches
No suitable size found
BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
Height (Foot)
5.0' - 5.5'
5.6' - 5.9'
6.0' - 6.5'
6.6' - 7.0'
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 39
39 - 42
43 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your chest and neck circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 22-39 inches
Invalid value: neck size should be in the range: 14-29 inches
No suitable size found
Canine Body Armor size
S
M
L
XL
CHEST (INCHES)
22 - 25
26 - 30
31 - 34
35 - 39
Neck (INCHES)
14 17
18 - 21
22 - 25
26 - 29
How to find your perfect fit?
Take the measure of your head as shown on the picture. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: head size should be in the range: 20-25 inches
No suitable size found
Size
M
L
XL
Head circumference, inches
20-21.5
21.6-23.5
23.6-25
How to find your perfect fit?
Take the measure of your chest as shown on the picture. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 33-53 inches
No suitable size found
Belt size
S-L
XL-3XL
Chest, inches
33-43
44-53
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5-7 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 33-53 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 28-48 inches
No suitable size found
Plate Size
S
M
L
XL
Plate Size (Inches)
8.7" х 11.7"
9.5" х 12.5"
10.3" х 13.2"
11" х 14"
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 39
39 - 42
43 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5-7 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 33-53 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 28-48 inches
No suitable size found
Panel Size
S
M
L
XL
Panel Size (Inches)
8.7" х 11.7"
9.5" х 12.5"
10.3" х 13.2"
11" х 14"
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 39
39 - 42
43 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure the length of your foot. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: foot size should be in the range: 10.1-12.2 inches
No suitable size found
Boot size, US
8.5
9.5
10.5
11.5
12
13
14
15
16
Foot length, inches
10.1
10.4
10.6
10.9
11.2
11.4
11.7
12
12.2
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5-7 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 33-53 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 28-48 inches
No suitable size found
BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
3XL
CUMMERBAND SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
3XL
Height (Foot)
5.0' - 5.3'
5.4' - 5.6'
5.7' - 5.8'
5.9' - 6.2'
6.3' - 6.6'
6.7' - 7.0'
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 40
41 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 50
51 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 35
36 - 39
40 - 42
43 - 45
46 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5-7 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 33-53 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 28-48 inches
No suitable size found
BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
3XL
Height (Foot)
5.0' - 5.3'
5.4' - 5.6'
5.7' - 5.8'
5.9' - 6.2'
6.3' - 6.6'
6.7' - 7.0'
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 40
41 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 50
51 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 35
36 - 39
40 - 42
43 - 45
46 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 4.8-5.8 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 30-45 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 23-37 inches
No suitable size found
BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
Height (Foot)
4.8' - 5.0'
5.1' - 5.2'
5.3' - 5.4'
5.5' - 5.6'
5.7' - 5.8'
CHEST (INCHES)
30 - 32
33 - 35
36 - 39
39 - 42
42 - 45
WAIST (INCHES)
23 25
26 - 28
29 - 31
32 - 33
34 - 37
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 4.8-5.8 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 30-45 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 23-37 inches
No suitable size found
BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
CUMMERBAND SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
Height (Foot)
4.8' - 5.0'
5.1' - 5.2'
5.3' - 5.4'
5.5' - 5.6'
5.7' - 5.8'
CHEST (INCHES)
30 - 32
33 - 35
36 - 39
39 - 42
42 - 45
WAIST (INCHES)
23 25
26 - 28
29 - 31
32 - 33
34 - 37
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5.2-6.3 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 31.5-52.8 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 26.8-47.2 inches
No suitable size found
Apparel SIZE
2XS/S
XS/S
S/S
S/L
M/S
M/L
L/S
L/L
XL/S
XL/L
2XL/S
2XL/L
3XL/L
Height (Foot)
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.8' - 6.3'
CHEST (INCHES)
31.5 - 33.4
33.5 - 34.9
35 - 37
35 - 37
37.1 - 40.5
37.1 - 40.5
40.6 - 43.6
40.6 - 43.6
43.7 - 46.8
43.7 - 46.8
46.9 - 49.5
46.9 - 49.5
49.6 - 52.8
WAIST (INCHES)
26.8 - 28.5
28.6 - 30.0
30.1 - 31.5
30.1 - 31.5
31.6 - 34.9
31.6 - 34.9
35 - 38
35 - 38
38.1 - 41.1
38.1 - 41.1
41.2 - 44.4
41.2 - 44.4
44.5 - 47.2
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5.2-6 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 31.1-40.2 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 22.8-31.9 inches
No suitable size found
Apparel SIZE
2XS/S
XS/S
S/S
S/L
M/S
M/L
L/S
L/L
XL/S
XL/L
Height (Foot)
5.2' - 5.6'
5.2' - 5.6'
5.2' - 5.6'
5.7' - 6.0'
5.2' - 5.6'
5.7' - 6.0'
5.2' - 5.6'
5.7' - 6.0'
5.2' - 5.6'
5.7' - 6.0'
CHEST (INCHES)
31.1 - 32.4
32.5 - 33.9
34 - 35.6
34 - 35.6
35.7 - 37.2
35.7 - 37.2
37.3 - 38.8
37.3 - 38.8
38.9 - 40.2
38.9 - 40.2
WAIST (INCHES)
22.8 - 24.2
24.3 - 25.8
25.9 - 27.4
25.9 - 27.4
27.5 - 28.9
27.5 - 28.9
29 - 30.5
29 - 30.5
30.6 - 31.9
30.6 - 31.9
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your laptop to make sure it fits to the case.
Invalid value: length size should be in the range: 13-15 foots
Invalid value: width size should be in the range: 9-11 inches
Invalid value: thickness size should be in the range: 0.6-1 inches
No suitable size found
Laptop Case
13"
15"
17"
Length (Inches)
13
14
15
Width (INCHES)
9
10
11
Thickness (INCHES)
0.6
0.9
1.0