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Monday, July 22nd, 2024

U.S. Sens. Peters and Britt propose modern, better-suited body armor for DHS personnel

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In introducing the DHS Better Ballistic Body Armor Act (S. 4305) this month, U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Katie Britt (R-AL) sought to equip the Department of Homeland Security’s law enforcement personnel with next generation body armor better fit to its wearers.

“Our brave Department of Homeland Security law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” said Peters, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “They deserve the best possible equipment to protect themselves when on the job. This commonsense bill will ensure all officers, regardless of gender or body type, have access to the most advanced and effective body armor available and are protected when in harm’s way.”

The pair cited ballistic testing from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2022 that determined the commonly used body armor was vulnerable to bullets and other projectiles ricocheting off the top of front armor panels on female and certain male-focused molds, and into the throat. Needless to say, such a deflection could prove fatal to officers.

Since then, they noted, better ballistic body armor has been created and made available, but DHS does not offer these updated models to their officers. Therefore, this bill would provide law enforcement personnel with the more appropriately fitting and improved body armor.

“I am proud to support the courageous women of the Department of Homeland Security who selflessly protect and serve our nation with distinction,” Britt said. “Just as they safeguard our homeland, they deserve equipment that will keep them safe in the line of duty. This is a commonsense piece of legislation that will help our DHS law enforcement officers return home to their family at the end of every day.”