Body armor becomes standard for Illinois law enforcement

Body armor becomes standard for Illinois law enforcement
Carbondale Police has provided bodyarmor for its officers for more than 20 years. (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)
Carbondale Police has provided bodyarmor for its officers for more than 20 years. (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Illinois law enforcement agencies will be required to provide "Bulletproof" armor for officers hired on or after July 16.

The Law Enforcement Officer Bulletproof Vest Act passed Wednesday July, 16, requires that all law enforcement agencies in the state of Illinois to provide soft-body-armor to its officers.

26 officers have been killed by gunfire this year, according to the

Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP).

Officers deaths by gunfire is up by 44% compared to last year, according to ODMP.

"Bulletproof" armor is made from a synthetic fiber called Kevlar. It is highly resistant to tearing and resists impact from incidents such as bullets or automobile accidents, said Mike Norrington, Director of the Southern Illinois Criminal Justice Training Program.

“You know, if some guy threw a brick at me ... It’s going to distribute that blunt trauma," Norrington said. "You’re going to be in a lot better shape [if you are wearing an armor vest].”

Kevlar vests cost about $500 each and the fibers become ineffective after four to five years.

The United States Department of Justice provides a grant that covers half the cost of a vest for local departments.

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