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Old July 27, 2012, 05:31 PM   #26
MonsterB
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Single Six, I think if it makes you feel safer, at least for now, then why not? Like some others have stated, you can never know when something bad can happen, it can be anywhere on earth at any time, any place. The vest is just like a firearm, better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it. Chances are very high that you will never need it, but being prepared never hurts. Do what you feel is right, and follow your instincts. The evil that exists in this world is simply unbelieveable. The best defense is a good ofense, so do what you feel gives you any advantage.
And thanks for your service!
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Old July 28, 2012, 03:43 PM   #27
Single Six
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MonsterB, I think that you and I are on the same page here. The more I think about it, the more I think that wearing while off-duty might be a sound idea. In addition to it's intended use, a side benefit is that vests tend to give additional protection to the wearer in car crashes. By the way: You're more than welcome, and it's my honor to serve. Take care.
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Old July 29, 2012, 03:38 PM   #28
gorin
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Its a matter of benefits vs. cost.
I wear a vest on duty and most of the time it is a PITA, especially now with all the humidity.
It does offer some protection of the vital organs, but most of the body is unprotected. And it will not stop a rifle bullet. So in a Colorado-type situation it would not have offered any benefit.
I draw the line at a 2" .38 that is light and small enough to not interfere with my life. If its not enough, well, so be it, I can't prepare for all possible dangers out there.
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Old July 29, 2012, 03:43 PM   #29
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I wouldnt wear one unless I was on duty but thats just me. During the summer months especially, I would be pretty uncomfortable along with feeling a little silly if I had just a t-shirt over it. Just my opinion, but these mass-shooter things do not happen THAT often.
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Old July 29, 2012, 03:57 PM   #30
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As far as vests go, the one I used on duty(personally purchased) and have worn to new ranges and competitions the first couple times was a Point Blank IIIA. I found it to be pretty comfortable. The only negative side was you could feel the weight of it but it did not feel awkward at all. Also it is pretty hot in the summer even though there is supposed cooling technology. It wasnt that bad however. Now the winter, it was a blessing. Working outside second shift all I would wear were gloves, hat, undershirt, vest and uniform with it even getting under 20 degrees before needing a jacket. Wearing a button down you cant even tell I'm wearing it, I just look a little buff
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Old July 30, 2012, 06:59 AM   #31
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Gorin: Having worn a vest on duty now for over two decades, I'm well aware of the drawbacks. Also, please check post #12 that I did on this thread in reference to rifles. As for your carrying a snubbie when off-duty...while that wouldn't be my choice for off-duty armament [I prefer a full size .45], at least you are armed with something, which is more than some other officers I know can say.
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Old July 30, 2012, 07:06 AM   #32
Single Six
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Smit: I agree. Those mass shooter things don't happen that often. BUT, they DO happen, and the annoying thing is that only the perpetrators of these slaughter-fests know when and where it will occur. Then there are other benefits to wearing a vest on your own time, such as the more likely scenario of a one-on-one encounter with an armed mugger, and also the aforementioned extra protection in car wrecks. However, I also agree with what you said about the discomfort factor, especially this time of year.
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Last edited by Single Six; July 30, 2012 at 01:39 PM.
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Old July 30, 2012, 08:32 PM   #33
Justice06RR
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Probably 99.9% of civilians have never worn a vest or even own one.

If you are a LEO and you will prefer wearing it even off-duty, go ahead. But keep in mind that the rest of the civilian world does not have the convenience of even owning a ballistic vest.
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Old July 30, 2012, 09:01 PM   #34
Single Six
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Justice06RR: "Civilian", as I've always understood the term, is anyone who is not currently serving in the military. I therefore consider myself a civilian. Second, pretty much anyone can buy a ballistic vest, "civilian" status notwithstanding. Thanks much for posting.
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Old July 31, 2012, 11:35 AM   #35
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17 years as a full time LEO here. While I carry both on and off-duty I do not wear my vest off-duty and I don't envision ever doing so. The handgun is for unanticipated problems. Off-duty, If I feel that an area or location was such a risk that I needed to wear a vest, I don't go there.

You specifically mention taking your children to the movie with you. Where's their vest?

In the end, wear it if you like. I'm just giving my thoughts on how I chose to be.
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Old July 31, 2012, 12:09 PM   #36
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Tlm225: I get what you're saying. If I know of areas where I feel I'd need a vest while off-duty, I also don't go to those places. However, you and I both carry guns when off-duty. How does the same logic not apply? In other words, how can it not be said thus: "If there are areas that I feel I might need a gun, I just don't go to those areas." See what I mean? One never knows where or when the off-duty gun might be needed, so the prudent off-duty LEO is always armed. How is it, then, that the exact same logic doesn't apply to the vest? Sure, you avoid "bad" places in the interest of avoiding trouble...but what about when you're in a "good" area, and trouble finds YOU? Seems to me that if you're in that situation and you need a gun, it just naturally follows that you'd also benefit greatly from having a vest. As I said earlier, wearing the vest while off-duty might seem paranoid, but there was a time that carrying a gun while off-duty was also considered "paranoid".
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Old August 1, 2012, 08:55 PM   #37
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Single Six, . . . in your situation, . . . I would wear it, . . . and would not look back.

I wore my "flak" jacket in 'Nam, . . . never needed it, . . . but it gave me a more secure feeling, . . . security lessens stress, . . . keeps down the BP, . . . and is good for a body & soul.

Truthfully, . . . if I had access to a good quality rig as a civilian and pastor, . . . I'd darn sure wear it, . . . some of the places I wind up. Those who would poo-poo it, . . . can take a hike, . . . it's my hide I'd be protectining.

Truth be known, . . . just don't have the cash for one, . . . or I would have had it years ago.

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Old August 2, 2012, 06:09 AM   #38
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Dwight55: I'm leaning in that direction [wearing it off-duty]. Thanks very much for your service, and for the input.
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Old August 2, 2012, 07:02 AM   #39
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If the Colorado incident is what got you thinking, what about the rest of your family? Those types of incidents do not descrimently pick out leo's, your family is in equal harm. If your concern is you will draw attention to yourself were you to engage, how will you secure your families well being which presumably is in the same general area.
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Old August 2, 2012, 04:59 PM   #40
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I have worn my vest on duty for about 4 or 5 years of my 21 year career. Here in Texas it is hot and humid and I just have never liked wearing the thing.

I believe in being prepared by being armed and having my head in the game. I always have my head up and looking around at my surroundings and being mentally prepared to take action if that is what is needed.

I have never even considered wearing my vest off duty.

It almost seems that you are allowing the criminal element out there to dictate to you how you will live your life rather than you doing it.

If you go along those lines what about driving? There are drunks out there and we can never predict when or where we will be involved in an accident where we could be injured or killed so should I stop driving. I have electricity in my home which sometimes causes fires but I am not going to cut the electricity off from my house to prevent that. I don’t even want to think about getting struck by lightning during a storm. The list could go on forever.

I look at things this way, we are all going to die sometime there is no way around it. I chose to enjoy my life and live it to the fullest, like everyday will be my last and absolutely no one in the criminal world is going to intimidate me into changing. Do I have fears? Absolutely, I fear for my wife and kids every time they leave the house but I do my best to teach and prepare them for what they should do in a bad situation.

Some people are always going to be more prepared than others and Single Six you might be the one that is more prepared than I and absolutely you are the smarter one for wearing your vest on duty. Like you I have been in this career a long time and probably like you I have been on scenes where I have had friends killed in the line of duty. Two were shot in the head, vest didn’t do a darn thing for them.

Just my 2 cents Single Six, absolutely no disrespect intended in it.
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Old August 2, 2012, 08:31 PM   #41
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God forbid that you should have to face that situation, but if by your selfless actions you were to save lives including your own, I'd be grateful for you.
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Old August 3, 2012, 08:07 AM   #42
Single Six
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Tws92EO5: No offense taken, brother. You make a lot of valid points. While I am, as previously stated, leaning towards actually doing this, my decision isn't made yet. It's just something that's been on my mind, and I thought it would make for an interesting discussion here on TFL...and so far, it's done just that. Thanks for posting; Be Safe.
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Old August 3, 2012, 08:09 AM   #43
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Bryanj0077: I hope I never face it either...on-duty, or off! Thanks.
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Old August 17, 2012, 09:23 AM   #44
Colonel Custer
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Single six just a thought

Are you familiar with the warranty on your vest? In high humidity situations the effect of kevlar material is diminished. In plain talk the more you sweat the less effective the vest will become after time. If you wear your vest outside of duty hours then you will reduce the life expectancy of the vest. Most vests have a life span of 6 years give or take. That is in theory for a 40 hour work week which means 12,480 hours of protection. Lets assume you choose to wear the vest 3 hours extra a week = 156 hour a year, one month less of protection for every year you do this. I am hopefully correct in thinking your department has sprung for the model with the tactical plates which are of some use against high power rifles (in my neck of the woods there are as many deer rifles as pistols.) Now if you have a personal bought vest then by all means do as you wish, if your department bought your vest then don't you owe it to your family to ensure your vest keeps you coming home at the end of every shift? Sorry for rambling on but department issu should be for department use, buy your own and wear it on your own time. This way you will get the most out of any vest you wear. Thank you for being a member of the thin blue line.
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Old August 17, 2012, 03:24 PM   #45
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Churchmouse: I would add that the legally armed citizen is the LEO's friend. Any honest policeman will admit that we can't be everywhere at once, and most of the time, until we get to the scene of whatever emergency you might have, you're on your own...but, there have also been cases of armed citizens saving LE lives! We're on the same team, friend. By the way, your thanks are never necessary, but are always very much appreciated.

It is REALLY nice to hear that! I conceal carry pretty much everywhere that allows it, and I often feel like if I were ever pulled over or something and had to inform the officer of my gun, that they wouldn't be too pleased about it. Thank you for your service sir!
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Old August 19, 2012, 07:51 AM   #46
Discern
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Single Six,

My opinion is to do what you feel is necessary. If I saw an off duty officer wearing a vest, I would not think they were paranoid. I am glad to hear you feel that law abiding citizens with firearms are friends of LE. It is good to hear that you carry while off duty. Some agencies have policies that do not authorize their officers to carry off duty - especially if they will be outside of their jurisdiction at any point.

I am not sure if this is still the case, but stab resistant vests use to be a hot item in the UK. Parents would buy them for their kids, as street gangs and school gands in the UK are a big problem in some areas. Since LE is usually unarmed in the UK, they do little to nothing with these vicious gangs who armed themselves with knives and/or firearms. So much for the safety of an unarmed society.
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Old August 19, 2012, 05:29 PM   #47
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message sending....

Hm...you feel you need a vest in an area that you are going to take your kids...Im assuming they do not have vests...I'm not sure that is the message to send to them, either to make them feel secure, or as to why you dont give THEM vests.....shootings are not the norm as bad as they are...a deep breath,and situational awareness and ability to respond may be a lot healthier for the kids in the long run...
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Old August 19, 2012, 07:06 PM   #48
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[QUOTE Hm...you feel you need a vest in an area that you are going to take your kids...Im assuming they do not have vests...I'm not sure that is the message to send to them, either to make them feel secure, or as to why you dont give THEM vests.....shootings are not the norm as bad as they are...a deep breath,and situational awareness and ability to respond may be a lot healthier for the kids in the long run... [/QUOTE]

This line of reasoning is flawed almost beyond description. It looks like some sort of 1/2 baked attempt at liberal politically correct discussion.

Does that mean you shouldn't drive your children anywhere, . . . you didn't provide them with cars, licenses, insurance, and plates?

Does that mean you shouldn't buy a house, . . . you didn't provide fully separate and equal residences for each child?

No, . . . the proper line of reasoning is that as the father and presumed head of household, provider, and the one making the long term decisions for the family, . . . he is the one most likely to be involved in a situation requiring a vest, . . . is the one most likely to be harmed by not having a vest, . . . and will be the one (if lost) that does the most damage to the family unit.

Wear the thing if you feel like it, . . . as I posted previously, . . . there most certainly would be times I would wear one if I could find the $$$ to afford a really good one.

May God bless,
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Old August 19, 2012, 07:57 PM   #49
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Wise choice, I even wear mine time to time when I go to "big" events with 100's of people standing around me. No telling what nut is out there and is going to do.

I wear mine 95% of the time I go to the gun range also. I feel its important to wear it while shooting like glasses/ear plugs. I heard it helps in car crashes also? saw it on Seconed chance's website or somewhere like that.
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Old August 19, 2012, 08:18 PM   #50
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If it makes you feel better than by all means wear it. YOu never know when you might run into a perp that you arrested or an unstable person that you wrote a ticket to. LEO's not only have to deal with the routine nut cases but also have to be aware of the people you previously arrested having it in for you.
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