How Reactive Targets Can Benefit Law Enforcement

Each day, scores of police officers are tasked with protecting the citizens of the United States and upholding the country’s laws. According to 2008 data, state and local law enforcement agencies employed more than 1.1 people full-time, including more than 750,000 sworn personnel.

But such an important job is not without risks and just as they are tasked with upholding the law every day, officers put themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis. According to police data collected over the last decade, there have been nearly 60,000 assaults on police officers.

Not only have there been assaults, but many officers have made the ultimate sacrifice. FBI data shows that 66 law enforcement officers were criminally killed in the line of duty in 2016. Of those 66, 62 were assaulted with firearms. Additionally, FBI records indicate that law enforcement officers were feloniously killed with their own weapon in the last 10 years.

To combat the threats against them, body armor has been a big help to police officers. Armor vests have saved the lives of more than 3,000 law enforcement officers over the past three decades. Data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that 71 percent of local police departments in 2013 required officers to wear armor vests at all times.

One way police test the hardness of objects is by the brinell hardness test. This test determines the indentation hardness of a surface by using a small ball to push against a surface at a predetermined level of force and depth. But using the brinell test, police may be able to determine the force and hardness of different types of ammunition and may also be able to determine how effective certain kinds of body armor are. With the brinell test, it may also be possible for police officers to recreate shootings based on the type of ammunition that was used.

When working in the field, police safety is Paramount and having the right body armor and right body armor clothing can go a long way towards saving a police officer’s life.

When it comes to body armor, the National Institute of Justice has a three-level rating system. The levels include:

  • II-A: This provides protection for most threats that police officers encounter. It is thin and is consider comfortable in terms of body armor clothing.
  • II: This body armor provides a good balance for protection against blunt force trauma and concealability.
  • III-A: This has the highest blunt force trauma protection rating in soft body armor and is a good option for unusual or high-risk situations. It minimizes blunt trauma injury to allow officers to return fire more effectively.

If a police department is in the market for new body armor this guide can help you get started.

The Benefits of Reactive Targets<.h3>
Body armor can do a lot to save the lives of law enforcement officers, but it’s also important for officers to stay sharp in the field. One way to do that is by practicing with reactive targets.


Why are reactive targets useful? Simply put, they help keep an officer’s senses sharp, improve conditioning and help mimic conditions he/she might see in field. Reactive targets can be tailored however an officer may want them.

Why are reactive targets useful? They’re useful because something as simple as a balloon can be a reactive target. There are many advanced kinds of reactive targets, but ultimately something that can give a visual indicator and/or produce a sound can be effective.

Why are reactive targets useful? They’re useful because they can be fun. Rather than shooting at a paper target all day, reactive targets give officers a chance to run through different tactical situations that make them jump, leap, dodge, spin and roll to engage targets. Chances are officers will have a lot more fun in the latter scenario.

Why are reactive targets useful? They’re useful because an officer or shooting enthusiast can tailor them to fit their needs. Many companies offer steel reactive targets or you can always make them yourself.

If you think reactive targets can help sharpen your shooting skills, this guide can help you find the right ones for your needs.

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