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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 222271 Find in a Library
Title: Comfort Level: Manufacturers Meet the Growing Demand for Better Women's Body Armor with New Designs, New Technology and a Unique Line of New Products
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:35  Issue:3  Dated:March 2008  Pages:76-82
Author(s): Mary Erpenbach
Date Published: March 2008
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes how body-armor manufacturers are meeting the growing demand for more comfortable armor for women officers through new designs and technology.
Abstract: Interviews with women officers have produced reports that many are having significant problems with coverage and comfort from their tactical and concealable armor vests. They feel "squashed" or "smashed" by the flat fronts of vests designed for men. Efforts to manufacture vests with extra room in the front to accommodate women's breasts have sometimes caused gaps in the ballistic fabric on the sides of the vests or under the wearer's arms. This has made these vests uncomfortable and inadequate in their coverage of women's torsos. Many current body-armor manufacturers and suppliers have long provided female officers with a variety of options in tactical and protective vests. Some manufacturers offer vests that are custom-designed, custom-fitted, or manufactured in both men's and women's cuts. Other manufacturers have a line of vests designed specifically for women. One company offers a one-piece design that uses darting to shape cups into the front of the vest. Body-armor manufacturers are also taking into account that female officers are serving in an increasing number of specialized police units, such as SWAT teams, which require specially designed body armor. Several companies are on the verge of rolling out next-generation products that may well revolutionize the industry. Liquid body armor, for example, may be one technology that will be on the market soon. It is soft and pliable until something strikes it, at which point it hardens into an impenetrable shell that can absorb the impact of even a sniper's rifle bullet.
Main Term(s): Police equipment
Index Term(s): Body armor/Personal protective equipment; Equipment evaluation; Police safety; Police women; Protective equipment
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