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HighCom Security, Inc., a leader in the design, development, and manufacturing of USA made hard body armor and related personal protective solutions, today announced that HighCom has become the first company in the world to achieve BA 9000 certification, a new National Institute of Justice (NIJ) body armor quality management standard. Certification was granted by Perry Johnson Registrars, Inc.
As explained in PoliceOne.Com by NIJ Program Manager Michael O’Shea, “BA 9000 is a body armor quality management systems standard that is an extension of ISO 9001, a standard for quality management from the International Organization for Standardization. If a manufacturer’s location is certified to BA 9000, it provides greater confidence that the armor is being produced consistently. Conformance with BA 9000 will be inspected by accredited certification bodies. The NIJ ballistic body armor Compliance Testing Program (CTP) worked with ANAB (ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board) to develop the applicable accreditation rule in order to accredit interested certification bodies.” Perry Johnson Registrars, Inc. was the first ANAB accredited certification body for the BA 9000 standard.

“Recognition and acceptance of NIJ standards has grown worldwide, making NIJ standard certification the performance benchmark for ballistic-resistant body armor,” said Mike Bundy, President of HighCom Security. “Each piece of equipment that is manufactured and distributed by HighCom receives thorough quality inspections through our ISO 9001:2008 certified QMS (Quality Management System). BA 9000 which is an extension of ISO 9001, is specific to ballistics-resistant body armor manufacturing and testing. While this standard is voluntary, HighCom believes this additional certification is critical. It ensures that manufacturers provide procedures for communicating with CTP, including unique identification for each piece of the body armor to ensure accountability; that work areas are managed in order to reduce negative effects on body armor; and that product testing must be completed at CTP approved labs, which need to be ISO 17025 compliant. Quality is extremely important to us and that is why we are continuously improving our processes and procedures along with resources to ensure higher performing and cost effective solutions for the marketplace. This is also the main reason why we have sought to become BA 9000 certified.”

Patrick Lowry of Perry Johnson Registrars, Inc., a full-service registrar that carries multiple international accreditations including BA 9000, stated that “the purpose of a Body Armor Quality Management System (BA-QMS) is to provide additional confidence that manufacturers are managing body armor processes appropriately to better meet the needs of law enforcement officers and the requirements of the NIJ CTP. Certification to a standard such as BA 9000 is an indicator of a quality product. This is a great advantage in an industry where quality could be the difference between life and death.”
About HighCom Security, Inc.

HighCom Security, Inc. (“HighCom”) is a leading provider of high performance and affordable body armor, personal protective equipment, and armor systems and related accessories. The Company’s ballistic solutions have been deployed to hundreds of thousands of operators worldwide, including the U.S. Armed Forces, Allied forces, Federal Government Agencies, in addition to law enforcement and corrections, and other security personnel, both domestically and abroad.

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Clark County firefighters are receiving hundreds of sets of body armor so they can treat victims even before police stop an active shooter.

A grant from the Department of Homeland Security is helping buy 466 sets of armor and helmets. Officials say Clark County is the first in the country to receive the equipment through the grant.

Existing protocol calls for firefighters to wait until police have cleared an area before coming to help the victims of mass shootings and other attacks. Groups including the U.S. Fire Administration say the policy is causing life-threatening delays in treatment, and are calling for bulletproof equipment that would allow firefighters to respond sooner.

The Clark County Fire Department’s jurisdiction includes the Las Vegas Strip and McCarran International Airport, the nation’s ninth busiest airport.

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J., July 15, 2014 – Honeywell (NYSE: HON) announced today that its Spectra Shield® ballistic material is being used as a critical component for body armor plates recently introduced by Reed Composite Solutions (RCS).

The ballistic material is being used in RCS’s AMURTM Models 3600 and 3610 rigid plates, which are inserted into law enforcement and military vests and have been specified or sold on six continents to date. The Spectra Shield material increases the bullet-stopping capability of the plates, while allowing for designs that are more comfortable for the wearer. Both AMUR models using Spectra Shield material are certified by the National Institute of Justice, multi-shot rated and provide protection against rifle threats. Thousands of these plates are currently in field.

“Honeywell has been at the forefront of bullet-resistant technology for militaries and a leader in developing ballistic materials for the U.S. law enforcement market for more than 20 years,” said Tim Swinger, global business manager for Honeywell’s Advanced Fibers and Composites business. “Our goal is to provide the strongest, lightest-weight materials that enable manufacturers, like Reed Composite Solutions, to develop armor solutions that provide the greatest comfort possible to those who risk their lives in the line of duty every day.”
Ryan Reed, president and managing member, Reed Composite Solutions said, “Using multiple grades of Spectra Shield material allowed us to achieve plate weights, trauma reduction numbers and threat protection never before seen in the industry. Our Model 3600 plate is the gold standard in value for neutrally buoyant Level III armor plates, and our Model 3610 provides ultimate protection for members of the military and law enforcement.”

Spectra Shield is a composite material made with Spectra® fiber, an ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene fiber that, pound for pound, is 15 times stronger than steel, yet light enough to float. With Honeywell’s patented Shield technology, parallel strands of synthetic fiber lying side by side are held in place with a resin system. Layers of the material are then cross-plied at right angles and fused into a composite structure under heat and pressure, allowing the material to stop projectiles more effectively and the energy of a projectile to rapidly dissipate along the length of the fiber upon impact.

Honeywell ballistic materials have been trusted to protect military and police forces around the world for more than two decades. In addition to bullet-resistant body armor plates, these materials are used in a variety of applications where lightweight strength is critical, including military and law enforcement vests, helmets and armored vehicles.

Honeywell maintains an active Spectra fiber and ballistic materials research and development program focused on meeting increased demand for its high-performance materials for applications ranging from military and law enforcement to a wide variety of industrial and recreational applications, including rope and lifting slings, mooring lines, fishing line, sail cloth and security netting.

For more information about Honeywell Spectra Shield, visit www.honeywell-spectra.com.

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The Burlington Police Department, three years after its involvement in a large-scale drug search that involved a Harden Street storage unit and recovering nearly $1.7 million in cash, it will receive its piece of the seizure.

Chief Jeffrey Smythe was recently presented with a $220,745 check from a U.S. marshal on behalf of the Department of Justice. And, with it, the department plans to purchase body armor.

How Did The Burlington Police Department Get Involved With The Investigation

The department became entwined with the investigation when they were alerted to the fact that an alleged drug trafficker was at the local Ramada Inn. Continuous surveillance on the suspect was carried out between Aug. 26 and Aug. 30, 2011. They observed the suspect going to the unit L-12 at the U-Store-In on West Harden Street, then meet up with a number of unnamed Hispanic males before heading to the storage unit by way of a minivan.

The suspects were then observed unloading packages from the van. These packages were later identified as being cash. They then loaded the van with packages of alleged drugs. The police stopped the van and snatched more than 40 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride, and got a court to sign off on a search warrant to investigate the storage unit. There, they took possession of $1,698,040 in of cash that was wrapped in plastic as well as an additional 58 kilograms of cocaine.

According to the Burlington Police Department, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration told the agency not to release the suspect’s name charged in connection to their investigation.

U.S. Marshal Bill Stafford, with Middle District of North Carolina, said the money seized from the investigation will be divided among 11 agencies, which also include the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and North Carolina Highway Patrol. Just one department outside the state will get funds, and that’s a California sheriff’s office.

Stafford said the strategic tool is the asset forfeiture program, as it helps to fight against crime and will take assets away from criminals if they gained it illegally.

How The Money Is Going To Be Used

The department plans on using $70,000 of the cash to buy new body armor, 80 of the bulletproof vests will have ceramic panels and ballistic helmets. Officers will wear the armor under their clothes and will withstand a pistol round.

However, Smythe said, it won’t stop rifle bullets from piercing the soft armor. He said the armor will stay in the police cars until officers are sent out to situations that call for their use.

Along with the money from the August 2011 investigation, the department gets regularly asset forfeiture money. He said the amounts vary from $150,000 to $300,000 a year, with some of the money going to the D.A.R.E. program.

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When an officer is fired upon, their first line of protection is their bulletproof vest. Sadly, many of the law enforcement agencies in Utah are using bulletproof vests that are both worn out and expired.

In fact, some vests need safety pins to hold them together while others are being worn years after the expiration date has passed.

According to Jonathan Mangum, a deputy with the Carbon County sheriff’s office, he’s got a safety pin holding the panel in its place. If it wasn’t there, it would fall out and he’d have no protection.

The majority of police vests have a five-year manufacturing expiration date. The Carbon County Sheriff’s Office, which is located in Price, have 10 patrol vests and eight SWAT vests that have been expired for years. Some of them are over 10 years old.

Lt. Jason Llewelyn with the department said it’s similar to milk in the fridge. They say it’s best not to drink it after the stated date on the carton, but there are instances when the milk is good and instances when it’s not.

According to Jessi Adams, her husband is the only Carbon County overnight deputy and he must wear an out-of-date SWAT vest. Adams said she knows her husband isn’t protected like he needs to be. She said it makes her angry because there isn’t a reason that it should be like that.

Expired Vests vs. Protection: What’s The Level Of Protection

Nicholas Roberts, a range master with the Unified Police Department, demonstrated the level of protection for an expired vest by shooting it four times. He said the thread underneath broke but all four rounds did not penetrate the vest. The vest Roberts shot into expired back in 1996. However, he stressed that the next expired vest may not have the same result.

Roberts said he’s shot into seven-year-old vests and they have failed while a 10-year-old expired vest held up.

Roberts, who is a National Institute of Justice board member that investigates ballistics body armor, said research has shown vests will falter for three reasons:

• Inappropriate storage
• Moisture
• Heat

The Key Problem Behind The Lack Of New Bulletproof Vests

Until the time that somebody designs a bulletproof vests that can withstand these conditions, police departments across the country will need to continuously spend money to replace their vests. The Unified Police Department recently spent $150,000 for their vests.

Unified Police Department Sheriff Jim Winder said there’s real concern amongst officers and administrators about how to handle the increasing costs associated with the vests. He said the reality is protection must be there for all their officers.

Many law enforcement agencies in Utah have a challenge to pay for new vests. After all, budgets are strict and a new vest can cost between $600 and 3,000 apiece.

Mangum sad there’s not enough money to pay for a new cover on his vest.

Possible Governmental Solution To Cost Problem

Adams has been taking the funding fight to lawmakers such as Rep. Paul Ray, a republican from Clearfield. Clearfield is on the committee for House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.

Ray said the Department of Justice can afford to pay 50 percent of the cost, if the state and counties are willing to pay 25 percent apiece.

The Carbon County Sheriff’s Office has no money to replace the vests that need replacing and it didn’t meet any of the guidelines set forth in the Department of Justice’s Bulletproof Vest Partnership grant. This grant would have paid for 50 percent of the total expenditure. However, the money has got to be found.

Carbon County Chief Deputy Tom Stefanoff said the money that was to pay for the radio equipment will go toward patrol and SWAT vests that no longer have any warranty on them.

New vests have been recently ordered but it may take a few weeks – perhaps longer – before they’ll arrive. During this time, officers must wear the old, expired ones.
Llewelyn said with the vest they do have currently, they pray they can withstand bullets. And, he said, that’s what needs to happen.

Congress is currently looking at the issue – trying to decide if they should reinstate full funding for bulletproof vests. If this does occur, departments could be completely reimbursed by applying for a grant.

The Army recently tested its new body armor with the help of more than 20 Ford Leonard Wood military police officers. Both a non-concealed and concealed version was under inquiry by U.S. Army Military Police Corps MPs.

Connie Respress, action officer with the Capability Development Integration Directorate Requirements Determination Division program, said Ford Leonard Wood was the rational choice for gauging the latest Family of Concealable Body Armor.

Respress said Ford Leonard Wood is full of MP Corps leaders and soldiers that provide daily tasks as military police. She said the Product Manager Soldier Protective Equipment within the Program Executive Officer Soldier is in charge coming up with systems that meet the performance factors that are laid out in the requirements document.

There are two kinds of vests military police, DoD civilians, correctional soldiers and Criminal Investigation Division (CID) agents are provided with. Repress said the new vest will provide the wearers with more protection and movement. She revealed that other locations were involved with the technical and operational testing.

Maj. Michael Fowles, PM SPE’s assistant program manager, said the vests have an amazingly extraordinary amalgamation of both stab and ballistic protection.

Soldiers To Provide Feedback On Body Armor

Fowles said soldiers are using the vests and carrying out their MP tasks, giving feedback regarding their function, form and fit. Soldiers are using the vests and looking at how functional it is:

• Range of motions
• Uniform integration
• Vehicle integration
• Concealability
• Performance during physical and firing position drills

Fowles said the vest have changed in sizing. For the FoCBA vests, there are more sizes available, meaning wearers can have a better fit and feel safer with their vests.

22 People To Provide Evaluations Of The Body Armor

She said there are 12 female MPs of 22 giving their evaluation, which is the key to the evaluation’s success. Fowles said female-specific sizes are being introduced so that all law enforcement can fit properly and comfortably. Both Sgt. Michaela Thomas, team leader for the 512th MP Co., and Sgt. 1st Class Gary Warner, instructor with the 14th MP Brigade Protective Services.

Warner who is evaluating the concealable vest said its more for comfort than anything else with him, and believes m any soldiers would concur with his statement.

Warner said soldiers are more concerned with comfort, and want to compact vest that takes little to operate, simple to manage and is comfortable to wear.

Thomas said she’s using the non-concealed vest with white and black lettering. She said this type of vest helps to separate MPS from everyone else. With previous vest, there was nothing that made them stand out from everybody.

When it comes to a crowd, she said, the vests make it easy for people seeking the help of an MP to spot them. Thomas said the vests make it easy for people to approach them. She said it’ll keep her and partners safe while they do the job they’re assigned to do.

Newer, Better BulletProof Vests To Be Released In July

Repress said Fort Leavenworth correctional soldiers will be the first to receive the new vests sometime in July. The other vests will be given out based on a priority-fielding plan.

Warner said it’s been a privilege to test the product because they can help to shape the Military Police Corps’ future.

Thomas agreed with that statement. She said it’s a responsibility that she’s honored to been a part of; making sure that she provides the answers needed to choose the route the manufacturer needs to move for the whole MP Corps.

Fowles said the evaluation feedback is going to be used to create a vest that will meet soldier acceptability and performance requirements. The feedback will help to ensure improvements in design are made, so that the vests are highly functional and comfortable.

Repress said it’s important that gives the best vest possible for military police soldiers and civilians that will boost their ability to carry out their law enforcement duties.