Senator Gary Peters introduces bipartisan bill to provide reinforced bulletproof vests to female DHS employees

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (R-Mich.), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, has introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at providing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with a next-generation ballistic vest specifically tailored to meet the coverage, fit and functionality needs of female law enforcement officers.

Recent ballistics testing by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has revealed significant vulnerabilities in the bulletproof vests currently used by DHS officers. Tests have shown that standard bulletproof vests can deflect bullets off the chest and strike the throat area, potentially causing fatal injuries to female officers (and some male officers). This new bill requires all DHS agencies to equip their law enforcement officers with improved, properly fitting bulletproof vests.

“The brave police officers at the Department of Homeland Security put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe, and they deserve the best equipment to protect them while on the job,” said Senator Peters. “This commonsense bill will ensure that all police officers, regardless of gender or body type, have access to the most advanced and effective bulletproof vests available and are protected when they are put in danger.”

In 2022, the FBI conducted ballistic testing using updated procedures and enhanced body molds that better replicate different body types. These tests found that when commonly used body armor was tested on female and certain male molds, bullets and other projectiles could ricochet off the top center of the front armor panel and strike the throat area. Such an event could be fatal to an officer. Improved ballistic body armor has since been developed and made available, but DHS has yet to provide officers with this potentially life-saving equipment.

The bipartisan Department of Homeland Security Better Ballistic Body Armor Act would require all Department of Homeland Security agencies to provide female law enforcement officers and other law enforcement personnel with enhanced ballistic body armor designed to provide better protection while on the job.

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Matt Seldon is a BSc and Editorial Associate at HSToday. He has over 20 years of experience in writing, social media and analytics. Matt holds a degree in Computer Studies from the University of South Wales, UK. His diverse work history includes roles at the Department for Work and Pensions and various roles for various companies in the private sector. He has written and edited various blogs and online content for promotional and educational purposes in his role since joining the workforce. Matt has run various social media campaigns throughout his career on promotional and educational topics for platforms such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook and LinkedIn. His educational campaigns have been on topics such as charity volunteering in the public sector and personal financial goals.

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