10-43: Be Advised...
with Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief
SHOT Show 2011: New NIJ .06-compliant police body armor unveiled
Safariland, Point Blank Solutions, and GH Armor Systems are set to showcase new vests designed to help save the lives of our nation’s law enforcers
Police officers and law enforcement administrators interested in new NIJ .06-compliant police body armor will have the opportunity to do some excellent research this week at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, where SHOT Show 2011 kicks off today. It’s been a little while since we’ve seen new .06 body armor products come to market, but according to several PoliceOne sources, companies including Safariland, Point Blank Solutions, and GH Armor Systems are set to showcase new vests designed to help save the lives of our nation’s law enforcers. Here’s some of what we know about those new products, even as the doors to the exhibit hall are just now being thrown open to attendees.
Safariland Adds Kevlar XP Ballistic Technology to Second Chance Summit Series
DuPont Kevlar XP has been adopted by Safariland for its Second Chance Summit Series body armor. The company said in its announcement that its new body armor — MN01 Type IIIA — adds to the existing family of Type IIA and II and is “thin, flexible design that features a hybrid of all DuPont Kevlar advanced fiber ballistic materials. The combination of these materials, including DuPont Kevlar XP, provides enhanced ballistic performance against special threats like the 5.7 FN hollow-point bullets and reinforces the new brand partnership between Second Chance and DuPont Kevlar.”
According to Safariland, the new MN01 Type IIIA body armor satisfies all of NIJ’s .06 requirements and features advanced perimeter and X-stitching to reinforce the armor panels, while reducing blunt trauma.
Safariland also announced that on Wednesday, January 19 from 1500 hours to 1600 hours, The company — a BAE Systems line of business — will host a special event to honor one of the very first members of the Safariland Saves Club as well as two more recent saves. Dick Sheehan of the Colorado Springs (Colo.) Police Department, Britt Sweeney of Seattle (Wash.) Police Department, and Al Fong of the Saginaw (Mich.) Police Department will each spend a few moments telling their stories of survival. The ceremony takes place at booth #12762.
Point Blank Solutions Adds to NIJ .06-compliant Line of Products for Law Enforcement
Point Blank Body Armor and Protective Apparel Corporation of America (PACA) continues to expand their NIJ .06 offerings with the release this week of the SABRE and Assault-One Plus tactical vests, as well as KXPIIIA Front Opening ballistic package. A Point Blank company announcement indicates that KXPIIIA is “the only one of its kind currently available to the law enforcement market,” although we at PoliceOne have not been able to independently verify that claim. Regardless, we can reliably believe the company’s statement that the KXPIIIA is constructed of 100 percent DuPont Kevlar woven fabric technology, and that the front-opening capability allows for rapid donning and doffing of the gear.
Michael Foreman, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Point Blank Solutions, said in a printed statement, “Significant enhancements in ballistic materials, coupled with our R&D, engineering and product design, have enabled us to develop new solutions for each of our domestic markets — law enforcement, federal and corrections, and for both concealable and tactical uses. We are aggressively looking to capture an increasing percentage of each of these markets, and at the same time, enhance officer safety through the best protective solutions in the industry.”
Foreman said further that the Pompano Beach (Fla.) company has used feedback from law enforcement officers to design new features, even as it focuses on integrating advancements in ballistics to lower weight and increase comfort. “We have also focused on the function of systems – making them modular and scalable based on the threats faces. Point Blank continues to work with the Bureau of Justice Assistance Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) to support agencies in purchasing the latest NIJ .06 models. I believe our 2011 success will be driven by many of these new products and the officers who use them. We look forward to meeting with attendees – including current and prospective partners and customers – to demonstrate just how far we’ve come this year in innovation.”
GH Armor Systems Introduces New NIJ .06 Body Armor for Female Officers
Among the new products slated to be on display at the GH Armor Systems booth (#20070) at SHOT Show 2011 are NIJ .06-complaint models specifically engineered and designed for female law enforcers. The company, based out of Dover (Tenn.) said in its pre-SHOT press release that the new female offering includes the LiteX II ballistic package, which was apparently engineered “by women, for women.”
Chris Grado, National Sales Manager for GH Armor Systems said in that press release that the company “assembled a team that understands the needs of women and has engineered an innovative design that provides a new solution to the old problem of uncomfortable female armor.” This team of female designers reportedly has more than 50 years combined industry experience in the area of designing body armor.
The new female contoured design incorporates an extensive range of sizes, patterns and shapes to provide a vest that is customized offer a unique fit to satisfy all shapes and sizes. “Our comprehensive line of NIJ 06 body armor has been developed to preserve comfort and wearability while adhering to the rigorous NIJ .06 test protocol,” concluded Grado.