SHOT Show 2012: CORTAC Cooling and Trauma Attenuating Vest

As had been previously announced, I spent some time receiving visitors at the PoliceOne booth during SHOT Show 2012. I’m a little incredulous there would be many folks who would want to come see little old me I was happily surprised to find that I was busy the entire time. In fact, my colleague joked that next year I’ll have to have eight-by-ten pictures made up and I do a “signing.” I joked back that I’d only contemplate such an idea if we got our booth positioned immediately next to the “calendar girls” from Dillon Aero.

Anyway, one of the people who came to see me during my Wednesday afternoon “shift” was Jeremy Harrell, a retired Nashville (Tenn.) cop who now serves as Chief Operating Officer for CORTAC.

“This is a new product we’re launching this week,” Harrell began. “It’s called the CTAV (or Cooling and Trauma Attenuating Vest). It’s a thermo-regulating and blunt-trauma attenuating panel that goes behind tactical and concealable body armor.”

Finish the Fight!
The gear is deceptively simple-looking. For example, there is a microscopic, nanocrystal coating sprayed on the outside that increases the surface area of the panel by something like 10,000 times. Harrell told me that the company has conducted ballistic testing and has seen upwards of 60 percent reduction in back-face signature on level-II body armor, removing a good bit of the punch from taking a body-armor strike — whether that be from a firearm or a forearm.

This, Harrell said, enables an officer who has taken some sort of hit to continue on, and finish the fight. In fact, “finish the fight” is actually the company’s motto.

Stay Cool!
“We’re also seeing between 4.5 degrees and 9.1 degrees cooling behind the armor with our panel versus without it,” Harrell continued. “The difference is dramatic. I wore body armor for almost eight years, and when you put it on in full uniform and start doing activities, there’s convection that takes place behind the armor even when you’re doing nothing more than standing around.”

CORTAC has had this new product in the hands of “a major metropolitan SWAT Team” for testing and evaluation, and so far they’ve received very positive feedback from the officers wearing it. Harrell told me that those cops did a side-by-side thermal imaging test (half the officers wearing the CTAV, half not wearing it) and found a four degree difference between the two groups.

The company’s product is brand new to law enforcement, but Harrell is not. His police career began in 1998 with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department where he worked patrol. In 2005, Harrell was injured in the line of duty, forcing him to retire from Nashville Metro and enter the corporate world.

In speaking with him, you can tell he retains his deep connection with law enforcement.

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor at Large for PoliceOne, responsible for providing police training content and expert analysis on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 900 feature articles and tactical tips. Doug is also responsible for planning and recording the PoliceOne Podcast, Policing Matters, as well as being the on-air host for PoliceOne Video interviews. Doug also works closely with the PoliceOne Academy to develop training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Doug regularly represents PoliceOne as a public speaker in a variety of forums and is available for media interviews — he has appeared on numerous local and national radio and television news programs, and has been quoted in a host of print publications. 

Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

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