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News Release

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Media Relations

LAPD Notified of Potential Safety Issues with Ballistic Vest

"LAPD Notified of Potential Safety Issues with Ballistic Vest"

 

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department was notified by Second chance Body Armor, the company that manufactures ballistic vest used by LAPD officers that there is concern that the protective vest were wearing out faster than they should and that there is potential for safety issues with the vest.

According to Second Chance, in more than 30 years that they have manufactured soft, concealable body armor, no vest has ever failed to stop a bullet it was designed to stop. Chief of Police William Bratton expressed his concern about this issue and quickly mobilize an emergency task force chaired by Assistant Chief George Gascon to determine what risk to and what possible solutions existed.

3900 LAPD officers have been issued vest and there is currently a count being conducted to determine how many of those officers are currently working field assignments.

Chief Bratton has encouraged officers to wear their body armor, he stated "I can’t say it strongly enough, even though there are performance concerns with the Second Chance body armor, officers should continue to wear it. It is far riskier to make a decision, based on emotion to not wear the vest."

During the past six years, two LAPD officers have survived shootings because a vest saved their life.

This media advisory was prepared by Public Information Officer Don Cox, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.