This Month in History: August 1987

Law & Order, August 2002 | Go to article overview

This Month in History: August 1987


August 1987 was the Uniform issue. The Best Dressed Contest winners, as judged by the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD), included the Minnesota State Patrol as the best dressed state agency and the Milwaukee, WI, Police Department as the best-dressed large municipal agency. For the first time in the 10 years of the program, a county agency took top honors as the Grand National winner: New Hanover County, NC, Sheriff's Department.

The Uniform issue included an article by the Law and Order Technical Editor on the latest body armor. Released in 1987, NIJ Standard 0101.03, the Ballistic Resistance of Police Body Armor, remained intensely controversial for the next 15 years. The center of the controversy was the issue of waterproofing. Perspiration during strenuous exercises on a hot and humid day was enough to degrade ballistic performance. However, the process to waterproof the body armor made it even hotter and less comfortable to wear. The two positions were sharply divided.

The NU position was that safety should not be compromised in the name of comfort. The Second Chance Body Armor position was that if meeting the standards for the extra margin of safety causes the officer to leave his vest at home, he has no safety at all. No ballistic vest has ever failed to stop a bullet for which the vest was rated.

This same year, the IACP and Du Pont joined forces to co-sponsor the Kevlar Survivor's Club. To date, the club has recognized over 2,500 officers saved as a result of wearing body armor.

The Uniform issue also included an article by a constable with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on preparing for winter weather survival. …

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