What To Do When An Officer Wearing Body Armor Is Shot?

Police Officers wearing body armor

Body armor is an essential piece of protective gear for law enforcement officers. One of the most dangerous threats that U.S. law enforcement officers still have to deal with is firearms.

Although there is no such thing as bulletproof armor, many different types of pistol and rifle ammunition can be protected by wearing ballistic-resistant body armor.

Body armor is an essential piece of protective gear for law enforcement officers.  Although there is no such thing as bulletproof armor, many different types of pistol and rifle ammunition can be protected by wearing ballistic-resistant body armor.

What it feels like to be shot

Even with the best body armor, getting shot will at least leave you with a bruised sternum. You’ll at least feel like you’ve been hit in the chest with a sledgehammer if the bullet doesn’t meet your armor. You’re most likely going to lose your breath and be taken off your feet.

It is important to understand that each shooting scenario involves thousands of different factors. What kind of bullet, for instance, did the assailant use? What distance did they have to the target? Was the officer covered in polyethylene, ceramic, or steel body armor? How is the armor cut? All of these issues should be taken into account while evaluating the injury.

It is vital for officers wearing body armor to note that body armor is not “bulletproof” so it will not offer complete protection, not even Level IV. Ballistic armor will shield you from a bullet penetrating your skin, but it still has the potential to result in significant internal bleeding and bruises.

What to do when an officer wearing body armor is shot?

The officer may appear to have died in some cases when the power of the bullet knocks them off their feet. The following steps should be taken immediately when officer an wearing body armor is shot:

An immediate medical examination should be given to any officer who is shot while donning body armor. The officer might merely show signs of discomfort and bruises, but there could be more severe inside injuries that are still hidden.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) says that everyone affected will have psychological problems such as crying, sweating, anger, and depression.

If a body armor system is damaged, it must be replaced and should never be used again.


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Bottom line

Being a victim of a gunshot can be one of the most traumatic and distressing experiences you can have. To survive a shot, you must learn how to react and go past your own psychology. The best thing a person can do after being shot is to take a deep breath and evaluate the situation.