When Kennebec County Sheriff’s deputy Chris Chase was hit by the 9 mm bullet in the center of his upper chest, his life was likely saved by his concealable body armor.
Second Chance is the brand of body armor preferred by officers in both departments initially represented in the near-fatal incident in Winslow, according to police officials. Though Chase sustained a hit directly into his chest, because of the body armor, he was able to assist his fellow officers as they regrouped after the shot and formed a containing perimeter.
Chase suffered nothing more than a bruise, a “nasty welt” and four stitches worth of damage to his upper chest, Kennebec County Sheriff Everett B. Flannery Jr. said.
Body Armor Essential For Police
A “saves counter” on Second Chance’s Web site counts the number of lives saved by the manufacturer’s body armor. Chase will likely be listed as number 922. Without his vest, the bullet probably would have killed him, Flannery said.” Concealable body armor is really the quintessential item that you have, next to your firearm,” he said.
Flannery said body armor is manufactured to withstand fired bullets, knife thrusts or nearly any other weapon used to bludgeon an officer. Body armor also minimizes damage officers sustain in auto accidents.
Chase was wearing a standard, concealable vest when the bullet struck him, Flannery said. It is standard for both Winslow and Kennebec officers to wear some sort of body armor at all times when they are on duty, both Flannery and Winslow Police Chief Michael Heavener said.
Officers on patrol wear a lighter “bulletproof” vest under their uniform, although in tactical assaults they can show up to work in bulkier gear that is worn outside their uniforms.