When I think about police officers hitting the streets of any area in Acadiana I have always figured they would have a bulletproof vest to wear, but that's not the reality for every department.

Bob Giles
Giles Nissan Lafayette via You Tube

This week the Kaplan Police Department will be receiving fifteen bulletproof vests from Bob Giles of Giles Automotive. It's all part of a program that began for him back in 2016. As he began to see that some departments didn't have the vests he worked to start a program as a way to give back to communities across Acadiana.

Giles says,

It's an honor and a privilege to be able to provide the equipment necessary to protect and save the lives of those faithfully performing their duties each day to protect us and our community.


While bulletproof vests are about saving an officer's life, the life of the vest must also be considered. A bulletproof vest doesn't last for a lifetime. It's good for about five years according to bodyarmornews.com.

You wouldn't necessarily think about the wear and tear that a vest goes through each time it is worn, but the site says if it is taken care of then it should only have to be replaced every five years.

In addition to replacement, there are multiple suggestions to help an officer take care of their vests. This may be common knowledge to law enforcement officers, but to the regular public, I don't think must of us would think about these things.

Scott Burtin says the vest, without the protective plates, needs to be cleaned, and it can be cleaned in a washing machine. He recommends you check the information on the vest to confirm this.

Even the ballistic plates need to be cleaned with a small amount of detergent and water. There is a multitude of things that impact the lifespan of a bulletproof vest.

There is also a multitude of options when it comes to choosing a vest as well. Bodyarmornews.com was recently at SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The industry is open to law enforcement professionals, merchandise dealers, and select others. You can click here for presentations about the various products available from this year's convention via bodyarmornews.com's Youtube channel.

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