Is it just me, or is it really a sad sign of the times when the National Park Service is promoting "factory direct" body armor to its rangers, body armor that not only stops most bullets but which is "a great choice for active rangers"?
Heck, there's even a women-specific line: One of the reasons that Savvy Armor for Women fits so well is that the company requires that each officer be personally fitted by one of their technicians.
And is it merely coincidence that the following release comes as top Interior Department officials are moving to allow more guns in the national parks?
The WASO Division of Law Enforcement, Security and Emergency Services is pleased to announce the establishment of a new partnership with BAE Systems, a major government contractor and manufacturer of body armor.
BAE Systems (formerly known as Armor Holdings) has provided the NPS with special factory-direct pricing (less than GSA pricing) on soft body armor. Their products represent an exceptional value to the NPS while providing maximum safety to officers. Please note, however, that the NPS has not contracted to purchase these products and that law enforcement personnel may purchase appropriate body armor from any vendor.
RM-9 requires that all commissioned employees be provided with soft body armor. These body armor options meet or exceed minimum performance levels for ballistic protection. Two choices are available:
ABA – Xtreme HP level IIIa vest with soft trauma plate and carrier. The cost is $423.50. The new Xtreme HP soft body armor provides high performance level IIIa stopping power in a flexible, lightweight vest. Offering the latest in ballistic and fabric technology, this product is a great choice for active rangers.
Savvy Armor for Women – Flair PST level IIIa with soft trauma plate and two carriers. The cost is $696. This is a new women-run company offering an exceptionally comfortable product designed just for women. The division has been very impressed with this new company and its products. Two NPS rangers have been wearing their products for over six months and have nothing but positive remarks about the women-specific fit and comfort. One of the reasons that Savvy Armor for Women fits so well is that the company requires that each officer be personally fitted by one of their technicians. At this time, the only technician is at FLETC. They are working on establishing a road show with additionally fitting locations at various cities throughout the year. A notice will appear when this happens.