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April 09, 2007
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More than a symbol: Police badge saves lives

The New York Times

For a thin wafer of metal alloy, a police officer’s shield carries remarkable heft. It is the emblem of honor and a pledge to serve, as cherished as a soldier’s dog tags.

And in the annals of police lore, stories abound about shields going beyond the call of duty and deflecting bullets and blades, saving their wearers’ lives.

That legend grew a little bigger on Thursday night, when an apparently drunken man lunged at a rookie officer in Queens with a kitchen knife. The knife struck the officer’s nickel alloy shield and shattered into five pieces. The officer, Stuart Ingram, 22, later remarked that his shield probably saved his life. He was also wearing a bulletproof vest, but it can be pierced by a knife.

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