Thesis

Police Officers: Surviving a real life-threatening incident while wearing body armor

Despite continuing efforts to improve body armor performance and increase its usage, there has been limited research focusing on police officers who have survived a real life-threatening incident while wearing a body armor. This study used a qualitative analysis of 24 police officers in the United States from 2002 to 2010 who have survived a life-threatening incident involving a handgun while wearing a body armor. The study used a list of victim police officers obtained from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) DuPont Kevlar Survivors’ Club to answer 7 research questions. The study found that police shootings typically occur on Monday. The time(s) of day police shootings typically occur on are between the hours of 0000 and 0800. The study also found that 9 of the 24 police shooting incidents involved making some sort of traffic stop or warrant arrest. Of the 24 police shooting incidents, 14 involved a 9 millimeter handgun or a .45 caliber pistol handgun. In addition, 11 of the 24 police officers wearing body armor suffered some form of backface signature injury (e.g. bruise, contusion). Of the 24 police officers wearing body armor all 24 survived their life-threatening incident and were able to return to full duty following their incident due to the use of a body armor. Thus, therefore, suggesting that wearing body armor not only protects an officer in theory but also in real-life situations.

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