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Thread: Officer Slayings on the Rise

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    Default Officer Slayings on the Rise

    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Hi Kit,

    It's getting crazy, huh?

    Among other things, I see many Departments and officers are getting more into hard plate armor (Level III / IV to protect against rifle rounds) to be deployed by first responders to an active shooter situation. I've done some research on what is standard right now, and what I'm finding isn't great. Both ceramic and polyethylene armor plates are about 1" thick. Ceramic is stronger than poly, but weighs twice as much and can crack if impacted. Poly is lighter, but still bulky and doesn't stop everything (Level III only). So I was wondering if yourself or anyone else here has done much research into newer technologies like the Dragon Skin armor or Kryron alluminum alloy armor (nano-technology from Borque Industries). I don't believe either have officially submitted to or passed the USDoJ NIJ testing, so to my mind there is still a big question mark about them regardless of how great the technology sounds. Both claim the ability to withstand multiple hits as well, which is a major shortcoming of ceramic and poly.

    The hard plate armor and carriers are essentially the same thing the military uses, except that they appear to contract theirs from BAE Systems (liquid enhanced) and/or Ceradyne. The military hard armor and carriers come off at first glance as being a bit superior to what is currently offered to most LE. For example, the BAE Systems armor plates are apparently 45% thinner and considerably lighter than both ceramic and polyethylene. Anyone have qualified feedback on whether the military plates are superior to what is pushed to the LE community?

    Regards,
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    I wear hard plates. Single in front of my patrol vest, double in my plate carrier for vehicle based swat stuff, and double on my entry vest.

    Not comfortable but you learn to carry it. I feel it's actually taught me stuff re posture as it becomes so important working and moving in such heavy stuff. Hard to get over fences and I don't run as fast anymore, but watcha gonna do?

    It's a damn shame such plates are not standard issue to all operational units.

    This piece is apropos here:

    http://sixty-six.org/x_drive/proper_wear_of_armor.pdf
    Last edited by Hissho; 11th June 2014 at 01:11. Reason: Addendum

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    Fair enough. I realize that wearing hard armor is not comfortable and limits options. But it seems like some new technology is around the corner and I'm afraid I'm going to invest $1,500 into stuff that's going to become obsolete as soon as I buy it! Just looking for some plate insights.

    Thanks,
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    Fair enough. I realize that wearing hard armor is not comfortable and limits options. But it seems like some new technology is around the corner and I'm afraid I'm going to invest $1,500 into stuff that's going to become obsolete as soon as I buy it! Just looking for some plate insights.

    Thanks,
    Yeah its a mixed bag. Not comfortable from a wear standpoint, but the thought that I at least have some protection from a rifle is a comfort.

    My exterior carrier is more comfortable than my interior vest was, AND has the advantage of taking a lot of weight off my belt. Now, that weight on my chest plus the plate is noticeable, but my back feels much better after a shift or a week even with the plate than previously.

    I wish I could wear just the external patrol carrier and the plate carrier for tactical ops, as the entry vest is more limiting, MUCH heavier, and causes me a lot of pain after a day on the range or a multi-hour barricade.

    Sadly the way things are, no matter when you bite the bullet and buy a plate, something newer, lighter, better will probably be out. My personally owned plate was about $400. I just slid it into the existing large plate pouch on my issued external vest.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    Fair enough. I realize that wearing hard armor is not comfortable and limits options. But it seems like some new technology is around the corner and I'm afraid I'm going to invest $1,500 into stuff that's going to become obsolete as soon as I buy it! Just looking for some plate insights.

    Thanks,
    Valid concern. When I first joined SWAT the vest were bulky and heavy, By the time I retired off the team they were lighter and less bulky, but with the same level protection.
    Fortunately, when it came to the vest we didn't have to worry about costs as that was covered by the department. Personally I own a less bulkier tac vest akin to a plate carrier with a little more protection. I set it up with a front and rear plate. It's my "Oh sh*t" vest.
    Either way, having something is better than nothing.
    Tony Urena

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    Hey guys,

    I've moved the in-custody deaths posts to another thread here: http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthre...531#post501531. I don't think it belongs in the same thread but it is certainly a worthy topic for discussion.

    Cheers,
    Chris
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

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    Wanted to add that wearing various types of heavy body armor does make you think a lot about some of the armored systems being practiced- seemingly odd movements in kata, etc. and things that may not make sense from a pajama party jujutsu or submission grappling perspective take on a different character when grappling while armored. The kind of armor or lack thereof on the part of the adversary as well... Intriguing to say the least.

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    These kinds of incidents seem to be on the rise here in Canada as well. The Moncton shooting you probably heard about. 5 RCMP shot and 3 killed. A couple of days ago in Vancouver, B.C. there was a big shootout when police chased down a would-be killer. Luckily in that situation only one officer was injured, by flying glass when her cruiser window was shot out.

    Be extra careful folks.
    Al Heinemann
    www.shofukan.ca

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