Massachusetts Cop Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
MassCops Angel
Joined
·
121,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
KEVIN JOHNSON
USA TODAY

More than one-third of police officers murdered last year were not wearing body armor, and law enforcement analysts estimate that up to half of all officers don't wear bullet-resistant vests regularly while on duty.
Trainers, police officials and equipment dealers say the FBI statistics tracking murdered officers represent only part of a troubling phenomenon at a time when police confront suspects armed with higher-powered weapons. They worry officers will be put at increased risk.
The vast majority of the nation's 700,000 officers own or have access to bullet-resistant vests, says Ed Nowicki, executive director of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association. Yet he estimates thousands -- up to 50% -- choose not to wear them all or part of the time. The risk of dying by gunfire is 14 times higher for officers not wearing armor, Congress found in 2001.
"It's like playing Russian roulette," Nowicki says. "We know we have a problem. The question is, 'What are we going to do to make this right?'"
The economy is partly to blame for slightly lagging sales of vests this year, says Michael Foreman of Point Blank Body Armor, one of the largest manufacturers. He says police agencies often don't emphasize body armor in their training.
No national count tracks how many officers wear vests, which cost $500 to more than $1,000 each. Yet there is broad agreement over why thousands don't: comfort.
Miami Police Chief John Timoney says the heat is the primary reason up to 85% of his officers do not regularly wear body armor. Every graduate from the training academy gets a vest, but there is no policy requiring them to be worn at all times.
In Philadelphia, police Lt. Frank Vanore says the department mandates use of body armor, but enforcement is difficult. At least two of the five officers killed there in the past two years were not wearing protective vests.
Earlier this month, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey approved a plan to let officers wear vests over their uniform shirts to make them more comfortable and easier to remove.
Over the past decade, 43% of the 1,671 officers who died of any cause in the line of duty -- including traffic fatalities -- weren't wearing vests, reports the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund. In 2007, 27% weren't wearing them, the third straight year in which the percentage declined.
The FBI statistics, though, show the percentage of officers murdered who weren't wearing vests has stayed between 33 and 44 over the past decade.
Access to vests is a concern in rural departments, says Robert Mowery, who heads Fraternal Order of Police efforts that provide protective vests to needy departments throughout Tennessee.
In August, Justice Department officials issued new standards for the vests aimed at improving their power to stop bullets. Yet officials worry the new standards also could result in costlier and heavier products, possibly discouraging future use. "We don't know how the (armor makers and police are) going to react" to the new standards, says John Morgan of the agency's National Institute of Justice.

Story From: USA Today

Twice Stung, Officer Plans to Embrace Vest



KEVIN JOHNSON
USA TODAY

Knoxville, Tenn., police officer Norman Rickman had no reason to believe he was in danger five months ago when he checked out a blaring home burglar alarm on the city's northwest side.
Yet he was on the ground within minutes, blood pouring out of bullet wounds to his chest and left arm as one of three suspects stood over him and fired two more shots into his upper back at point-blank range.
Miraculously, the officer survived. "God was on my side that day," Rickman says.
More extraordinary, perhaps, is that the May shooting marked the second time in seven years that Rickman had been seriously wounded while not wearing a bullet-resistant vest.
Rickman's experience may be extreme, but it underscores the concerns of law enforcement officials and training officers who estimate that up to half of the nation's approximately 700,000 officers do not regularly wear protective vests.
"In my day, if you were wearing a vest, you were considered chicken," says Ed Nowicki, executive director of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association. He survived six shooting incidents without a vest while he was a Chicago police officer. "Now, there is no excuse."
Since 1987, an estimated 3,050 officers have been saved from fatal or potentially disabling injuries by body armor, according to data from the International Association of Chiefs of Police/DuPont Kevlar Survivors' Club, which tracks such incidents. "It's stunning to me that all active-duty officers wouldn't be wearing body armor," says Jeff Fackler, a member of the IACP Foundation board and global marketing manager for DuPont Personal Protection, which provides body armor to police agencies.
Fackler estimates 40% of officers may not be wearing protective vests. For prison and jail guards, it may be as high as 85%, he says.
When Rickman, now 45, joined the police agency in 1989, he says he wore a vest regularly for the "first five or six years," even though the department had no requirement that vests be worn all of the time.
Gradually, Rickman says, his use of the vest became more situational. The heat and humidity of Tennessee summers and the types of assignments he got often dictated whether he wore it.
That changed in 2001, when Rickman was wounded by a suspect he stopped for a faulty brake light. Rickman says he was hit in the upper left chest, just above his badge.
He returned to duty with his vest -- responding to his wife's pleas that he wear it at all times.
"She would get on me all of the time," he says. Fellow officers made informal inspections, periodically thumping his chest to check for the extra padding.
Yet again, he says, the passage of time and old habits contributed to a break in his safety routine.
Shortly after the start of his shift May 20, Rickman was dispatched to the northwest Knoxville neighborhood to check on the tripped alarm.
Burglar alarms are among the most common police calls and often do not involve violent confrontations, he says. Had the call clearly involved a violent incident, he says, he may have acted differently. This time, he approached the house without a vest.
Shots rang out shortly after he spied the suspect through a basement window in the back of the house. The first shot struck him in the chest and knocked him to his knees. He lost consciousness sometime after rolling onto his stomach.
Rickman says witnesses reported that the suspect continued to fire and pumped the last two rounds into his back shoulder area as he came to stand over Rickman.
The officer regained consciousness as a neighbor helped tend his wounds and called for help. The first ambulance carrying Rickman broke down on its way to the hospital, requiring a call for a backup. The three suspects, including the alleged shooter, later were arrested.
Rickman, who is expected to make a full recovery, calmly recounted the incident Thursday.
"You don't expect this to happen again, but it did," he says.
Since the shooting, Rickman says, the department started requiring officers to wear body armor.
He doesn't know when he'll return to duty. When he does, he says, he will be wearing the vest.
*Police serve unprotected, 1A

Story From: USA Today
 

·
G-Rap made me do it!
Joined
·
2,745 Posts
That is incredibly unlucky.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,433 Posts
3 essentials no officer should be without:

Body Armor
Seatbelt
Off-duty Weapon
Unfortunately - and for the most ludicrous reasons - I see cops everyday who ignore at least one of these elements in which constitute a safe officer.
 
G

·
Unfortunately - and for the most ludicrous reasons - I see cops everyday who ignore at least one of these elements in which constitute a safe officer.
Considering how much more likely we are to die in a vehicle crash than by gunfire, I don't get the vest but no seatbelt crowd.
 

·
Public Trough Feeder
Joined
·
5,181 Posts
Considering how much more likely we are to die in a vehicle crash than by gunfire, I don't get the vest but no seatbelt crowd.
One buddies was blue lighting it to a call when he swerved to avoid a head-on with a pickup that drifted...hit a pole at ~45 mph...his seatbelt bent his badge in half. He now carries it religiously in his duty bag. When I was on break in, he made sure I saw it before we even left the crusier lot in case any of the older guys told me about the "benefits" of not wearing a seat belt. Got the point then and there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,110 Posts
Back around 1995, a Marlboro or Shrewsbury Police officer was shot at and the 2 bic pens in his front pocket saved his life, I do not recall if he was wearing a vest or not.
 
G

·
Back around 1995, a Marlboro or Shrewsbury Police officer was shot at and the 2 bic pens in his front pocket saved his life, I do not recall if he was wearing a vest or not.
I've heard the Cross Pen Company will replace the pen/pencil sets of any officer who was saved from injury by a Cross product. I guess it happens more than you think.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,057 Posts
I've heard the Cross Pen Company will replace the pen/pencil sets of any officer who was saved from injury by a Cross product. I guess it happens more than you think
I couldnt find anything on the website.....
 
G

·
I couldnt find anything on the website.....
I wasn't interested enough to look into it; I just use whatever pens I find laying around my house or the station. I got a Cross set for my academy graduation, and lost them in about 3.5 seconds.

My favorite pen was one that advertised Viagra in quite large letters, given to me by one of the EMS people. The looks on people's faces were priceless.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,057 Posts
Working in a Hospital for 4 yrs I had a few Viagara pens ...and every other med you could think of..the Viagara pen was actually a good pen...it wrote a little stiff, but a good pen nonetheless....
 
G

·
Working in a Hospital for 4 yrs I had a few Viagara pens ...and every other med you could think of..the Viagara pen was actually a good pen...it wrote a little stiff, but a good pen nonetheless....
Mine had a nice, sharp point for pressing through the citation carbons. I can't even remember what happened to that one, but it was a good pen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,433 Posts
I'm a pen fanatic.

I carry a Cross set in my breast pocket for decoration only and carry whatever my favorite pen of the week is in one of my pant pockets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
I believe that was Tom Kent in Leominster in 1995. He and his partner responded to a prowler call and ended up in a firefight. I do not believe he was wearing a vest. They figured the pen deflected the round enough to direct it away from any vital organs. He was retired from the shooting. His partner shot and killed the suspect. Also pretty sure the pen was a Cross.
 

·
Undefined
Joined
·
2,255 Posts
The comments in this thread have convinced me. I'm not going to wear my vest anymore. I'm def going to add about ten more pens though!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,057 Posts
Man says cell phone saved him from stray bullet

COVINGTON, La. - R.J. Richard says he doesn't normally put his cell phone in his chest pocket. But he says it saved his life the one time he did.
The 68-year-old man from Covington, La., was mowing the lawn on his 5-acre property when a stray bullet from nearby woods struck that cell phone. He figured a rock kicked up by his tractor hit him. That is, until he took out the phone and a .45-caliber bullet fell from its case.
Richard told The Times-Picayune of New Orleans he doesn't think it was a coincidence, either.

"I look at this as God telling me to put my cell phone in that pocket, and I'm grateful and humbled," he said.
Doctors told Richard the bullet came at an angle, which along with the cell phone probably prevented serious injury.
Deputies are investigating the case, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain said. He said the case should serve as a serious warning that people should consider the consequences before firing a gun.
However, Strain said investigators don't believe the shooting was intentional.

© Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top