Up-armoring for active-shooter response
By Michael Foreman, Point Blank Enterprises
Active shooter attacks are dynamic incidents (often over in 10-15 minutes) that vary significantly from one attack to another, but they more than often involve deadly physical force perpetrated by an individual(s) who has unrestricted access to multiple victims.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) formally defines an active shooter as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.”
The DHS notes in its definition that, “in most cases, active shooters use firearm(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.”
The level of police response to an active-shooter attack is unique to the circumstances of the incident. As the nation’s largest municipal police force, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has developed a list of recommendations to mitigate the risks from active shooter attacks based on an in-depth analysis of active shooter incidents from 1966 to 2010.
Mitigating Risk in Active Shooter Events
Increasingly, we are seeing a paradigm shift in the development and delivery of body armor solutions that can immediately meet the needs of officers responding to an active shooter situation.
This has led to the coining of the term “up-armor” — in other words, armor evolving or being modified to address a threat. Most likely a law enforcement officer is protected by a soft body armor concealable vest certified for handgun round protection.
However, a soft body armor concealable vest will not protect from rifle threats. As a result, agencies need to be able to “up-armor” their protective vests with rifle rated hard armor plates (NIJ Level III or Level IV) to meet this type of threat.
#1 Rule of Body Armor: Stop What You Carry
1.) Equipping patrol officers with more advanced, high-powered firearms for immediate response to incidents that clearly involve the suspect’s use of deadly force
Unless officers up-armor to meet the threat when a patrol rifle is deployed, the “Stop What You Carry” rule is violated.
The S.C.O.P.E of Enhanced Protection
In focusing on the up-armor aspect, the most advanced Active Shooter Platform or Response Kit enables the officer to rapidly don a plate carrier over his/her existing concealable vest and immediately upgrade their protection when a threat situation escalates.
The plate carrier is the foundation of an active shooter response kit because it provides up-armor capabilities that address the threat of rifle and high-powered firearms typically deployed. A responder can quickly and easily put on and take off the protective equipment as needed.
The latest Active Shooter Response Kits are designed to be adaptable to officers’ varying functions and work environments. They include affordable and premium soft and hard armor solutions that are lightweight, highly flexible and deliver the ultimate in performance under the most extreme circumstances.
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