Body Bunker Basics

Handheld portable bullet-resistant shield designed to augment an officer's vest.

Going against the flow of traffic is an important aspect of ballistic shield use. Officers approaching a critical area must quickly pat-down everyone they encounter and try to gather intel about the situation. Suspects wishing to escape during the confusion could act like traumatized victims. In an active shooter incident, anyone at the scene should be confronted with the ballistic shield first.

The body bunker is not for every incident but it is an essential tool in the law enforcement toolbox. Agencies should consider putting one in every patrol car.

Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer who teaches Administration of Justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, California.

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