The survey, done in partnership with Lexipol’s Police1 audience, provides insights into protective equipment purchasing decisions and ballistic armor needs
CLEVELAND, Ohio, (December 7, 2022) – Dyneema ® , leader in protection, today released survey results from U.S. Law Enforcement that reveal increases in prioritization of comfort in body armor solutions and preference for American-made protective equipment.
“Dyneema ® leads personal protective equipment (PPE) in both comfort and maneuverability,” said Chuck Rutkowski, Regional Business Manager, Avient Protective Materials. “We are already the highest strength-to-weight material on the market, but we are continuing to develop and innovate the next generation of Dyneema ® materials to protect against today’s advanced and emerging threats. These research findings ensure we are prioritizing the needs of Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) – better protecting them as they protect our communities.”
The survey ran from September 1-29, 2022, and respondents varied in experience level, rank, agency size and general demographic.
Comfort Saves Lives
74% of respondents ranked ‘comfort’ as their top criteria for selecting body armor. This was followed by ‘protection from a range of threats’, while ‘fit of vest’ was ranked as the third most important criteria. When determining comfort level of armor, respondents said weight and flexibility were most impactful. Women respondents said a unique design for their body type is another important consideration to enable comfort on the job.
When asked what would cause them to take off their body armor while on duty, 46% of respondents said the comfort of the vest would influence them to do so, with another 25% referencing weight and flexibility. Heat was the most influential factor with 76% of respondents saying it would cause them to take off their bullet resistant vest.
“Comfort is not a luxury for LEOs. It directly impacts performance and protection on the job. The strength of Dyneema ® means vests can be made lighter and thinner than with the use of competitive materials – resulting in soft armor that is up to 35% lighter than those made with aramid solutions and hard armor that is 75% lighter than steel, without compromising on protection. This allows LEOs longer periods of wear time without removal, ensuring reduced wearer fatigue, mitigating injuries associated with the cumulative effects of daily armor use and improved situational awareness, response times and cognitive and tactical performance,” expanded Rutkowski.
American Made Matters
With increased attention to how and where products are made, almost half (49%) of survey respondents strongly agreed that they would prefer protective gear that’s made in the USA. An additional 30% of respondents agreed with the statement.
Dyneema ® is proud to be made in America and worn by Americans who protect Americans – both at home and abroad. Manufactured from start to finish in Greenville, North Carolina, this ensures quality and consistency of supply with no dependency on foreign materials or supply chain issues, resulting in body armor solutions for law enforcement officers that meet military standards.
“As we protect those who protect us, understanding the needs of law enforcement is our top priority,” said Rutkowski. “These insights not only guide our future innovations here at Dyneema ® , but it is our hope they will also guide department purchasing across the country. With more departments providing protective equipment to their officers, it matters that their leaders understand the importance of lightweight, comfortable, American-made protection for the wide range of threats they face.”