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Police Urged to Replace Bulletproof Vests

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by rick_reno, Jun 22, 2005.

  1. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

    Dec 25, 2002

    Police Urged to Replace Bulletproof Vests
    Wednesday, June 22, 2005

    TRAVERSE CITY, Mich — The nation's largest supplier of bullet-resistant vests to law enforcement agencies is urging its customers to replace vests containing the fiber Zylon (search), saying they may not be safe.

    Second Chance Body Armor (search) said Wednesday it had sent notices to police agencies nationwide. The warning affects about 58,000 Tri-Flex vests and an additional 40,000 Ultima and Ultimax vests with Performance Pacs, the company said in a statement.

    New research shows that vests made even partially with Zylon "may fail to perform and result in serious injury or death," it said.

    Second Chance, based in Central Lake, is undergoing reorganization in federal bankruptcy court after being targeted in numerous lawsuits claiming its vests made with Zylon are defective.

    The company said it would ask the court to devise a procedure for vest owners to make claims arising from the latest warnings.

    "While Second Chance has not received any reports of field failures of the products in question, we felt it was our obligation to report these new research findings immediately," said Matt Davis, vice president of sales and marketing.

    "The safety and well-being of all the officers who wear our body armor is of primary importance to Second Chance, and we strongly encourage all officers to replace ballistic vests that contain Zylon as quickly as possible."

    Second Chance began making vests with Zylon in 1998, saying it was lighter and more comfortable than other fibers used in body armor. The company announced in 2003 it had concerns about the durability of Zylon vests and recalled more than 130,000 of them made entirely with Zylon.

    The latest notice pertains to vests containing a mixture of Zylon and other materials.

    Since then, lawsuits have been filed in at least nine states, and federal and state investigations have been started.
  2. fjolnirsson

    fjolnirsson Participating Member

    Jan 21, 2004
    Oregon, in the Willamette Valley
    ***? They're just now warning people? Oh, I see. Partially made of Zylon.
    This is old news. Back in 2003, my academy instructors were warning us not to buy Zylon due to breakdown of the materials.
    You would think they would've done some extensive testing after that first recall.....

    Zylon begins to break down when exposed to extreme heat and moisture. Anyone who's ever worn a vest knows that pretty much describes the condition of the vest within 15 minutes of putting it on. Moist and hot.
  3. tlhelmer

    tlhelmer Active Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Southern Indiana
    Very Interesting! :fire:
  4. LawDog

    LawDog Moderator Emeritus cum Laude

    Dec 20, 2002
    www.tacticalforums.com Do a search for 'zylon'.

    Kevin McClung has had his teeth sunk into this one from the get-go.

  5. StopTheGrays

    StopTheGrays Active Member

    Jun 25, 2004
    Is this the same company where one of the owners used to shoot at a vest he was wearing (padded by 1 or 2 telephone books) with a 44mag? If so, are they going to have him start doing that again?
  6. TonyB

    TonyB Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Schodack NY
    Heard this on our local news too..Troy,NY police dept. uses these 2nd chance vests..or I should say USED them.......
  7. heypete

    heypete Active Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Tucson, AZ
    ...there are people other than police officers who buy body armor, you know?

    A guy I know is a trauma nurse in Oakland, California (major crime area). He has two vests, so he can switch off every other night so one doesn't get too sweaty/gross.

    I've got an army flak jacket with good kevlar in it, though I'm looking at getting a IIIA or III vest for the future. Maybe in a year or two...
  8. Joejojoba111

    Joejojoba111 Participating Member

    Mar 7, 2005
    Caveat Emptor, if you weren't aware of the problems with Zylon then you didn't really try to find out. Due-dilligence, the person(s) who bought these vests for the forces should really be held responsible for their poor decisions, and removed from positions which require such decision making. Then again, we all make mistakes.
  9. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Senior Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    NE PA
    "Is this the same company where one of the owners used to shoot at a vest he was wearing (padded by 1 or 2 telephone books) with a 44mag? If so, are they going to have him start doing that again?"

    Yes, this is the same company. The owner/creator of the company added the phone books to lessen the bruising of being shot and having the vest stop the bullet. The phone books were not added to help stop the bullet.
  10. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Senior Member

    Nov 6, 2004
    I heard about the Zylon thing in the past before but thought they took care of it. :uhoh:

    Then I hear a police officer (I believe) interviewed on the radio a few hours ago on how Second Chance announced their goodies aren't good. According to the guy, the fibers stretch too much even though it will stop the bullet from actually piercing anything. He mentioned in their testing, the bullet (caliber not specified) will deform the vest about 2-1/2" inwards which is enough to cause severe and potentially life-threatening damage to the wearer.

    One would think the people purchasing this stuff for law enforcement have half a brain, but I'm going to guess the beancounters order this stuff? To satisfy their requirements, they see "bulletproof vest" and "low cost", then without further research, purchase without giving it a further thought. At least, that is how I would assume that things had to be done in order to miss the big Zylon stink a few years back.

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