PAINESVILLE, Ohio (WOIO) - There are many kinds of body armor that offer various levels of protection. For example, a vest for SWAT officers provides more protection but it’s more cumbersome than a vest for a patrol officer, who often needs to move more rapidly.
“Body armor is bullet resistant material that is designed to wear for an individual,” is how Dan Atwell describes protective gear. He handles body armor at Atwell’s in Painesville.
“They can actually attach gear to this molly platform so they can attach them. Mag pouches, their tasers, their handcuffs, radio things of that nature and still wear this up here.” said Atwell.
Vests or body armor work. That was proven on Ottawa Road four years ago when Officer David Muniz was shot in the chest by a suspect. He was able to continue to talk to the suspect. Luckily in Dayton officers knew not to shoot at the vest.
An extra metal plate at the center of Muniz’s vest saved his life. Vest maker Safariland keeps statistics. Vests have saved 19 officers lives this year and a total of 2,056 over the years. Body armor material fits inside the outer vest.
“We don’t, we don’t sell outside of security and law enforcement personnel.” said Atwell. It is legal to own a vest but companies often won’t sell to outsiders.
Getting hit by a speeding bullet even wearing a vest is painful. Atwell explained "The heat generated by that will burn your t shirt to your skin. It’s still a lot better than having the round go through you.