NEW YORK — Wondering if the modern body armor used by our national police force is actually making a difference? Statistics from this past year show that the number of U.S. law enforcement officers killed on duty hasmade a drastic decline. Policing experts report that this is the result of more law enforcers wearing body armor while on active duty. And this goes for law enforcement professionals on all levels in the United States.
The F.B.I. has made an integral impact on safety awareness in their own right.In 2012, there were actually 48 law enforcement officers that were killed while on duty, which is down from 72 in 2011. At about a 33% decrease this is a great improvement.While statistics show that there were firearms used in the majority of these attacks, body armor was a factor in nearly all of these happenings.
"There's been a sea change in the thinking on body armor at the state and federal level,” said Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum.
Police departments that collected particular federal grants were mandated by the U.S. Department of Justice to utilize more body armor in 2011. This was a role call for virtually all law enforcement departments on the federal level across the U.S., as 92 percent of them made them a prerequisite for active officers by the end of 2012 (this is a large leap from a meager 59 percent of federal departments in the year 2009.) The use of body armor has continued to make an impact this year as well.
"In this case, policy made a difference," Wexler said.
Chuck Wexler, who has held his prominent position since 1993, leads an entire staff involved in policing research, consulting for police agencies and management studies. Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) is in large part the only hope for major cities facing difficulties with policing.