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  1. #1
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Exclamation This is what happend when George doesnt do his homework!

    Defective vests trouble police; Research shows Zylon bulletproof panels could deteriorate

    By Jill Harmacinski

    Staff writer


    Just like the gun and the badge, most police officers won't start a work day without wearing a bulletproof vest. But the vests being worn by some North Shore officers may not stop a bullet.

    Many North Shore police departments are dealing with that prospect right now, after learning that tests have shown the material used to make the vests break down faster than promised.

    Attorney General Thomas Reilly has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of 5,000 law enforcement officers who were issued the vests, but that's not going to address the immediate safety concern for police on the streets. Town leaders are scrambling to find money to replace the vests before a tragedy occurs.

    Earlier this week, Danvers Town Manager Wayne Marquis proposed spending $17,000 for 46 new bulletproof vests.

    "We need to act now to replace these vests," Marquis said.

    In Peabody, Police Chief Robert Champagne said they also are looking to replace the vests, hopefully through a state or federal grant program.

    "We are actively looking at doing this," Champagne said.

    In Beverly, police, like other North Shore departments, were reluctant to pinpoint exactly how many officers were using the defective Second Chance vests. But police officials did confirm that there is no money available to buy new vests.

    Some departments, including Beverly and Marblehead, have taken advantage of a program offered by Second Chance to receive reinforced ballistic panels for the vests.

    "But that's a temporary fix, not a solution to the problem for the officers who decided to wear this vest," Beverly Police Lt. Mark Ray said.

    Also, older vests are available to the officers, though many of those have exceeded the five-year life expectancy.

    Beverly Mayor William Scanlon said he has read about the defective bulletproof vests, but having only been in office for four weeks, no one in the Police Department has mentioned the problem to him. He said the need for new vests could come up during this year's budget process.

    Widespread problem

    Across the North Shore, it's now standard practice for officers to wear a bulletproof vest while working. Officers hope the vest will not only stop bullets, but also provide extra chest protection if they were punched or stabbed.

    In 2000, many departments purchased the Second Chance bulletproof vests using a combination of state and federal grant money. The vests had a five-year life expectancy and were touted as a lightweight alternative to the bulky vests made of Kevlar, which police considered hot and cumbersome.

    But in late 2003, police departments learned Zylon, a supposedly bulletproof fabric used to make the vests, could unexpectedly deteriorate after exposure to perspiration, heat and humidity.

    "Second Chance found, through their research, the ballistic panels in the vests could break down at a much faster rate," Danvers Police Lt. Patrick Ambrose said. "It's a problem across the whole country. They can't guarantee the integrity of the fabric."

    Last November, Reilly sued Second Chance of Michigan, the vest distributor, and Toyobo of America Inc., the Zylon manufacturer. The defects in Second Chance vest styles, Ultima, Ultima II and Ultima IIA, pose a risk to the state's 5,000 law enforcement officers, including 600 state troopers, Reilly said.

    "Officers who put their lives on the line everyday must be able to trust the equipment they use to protect themselves," Reilly said in a prepared statement.

    Reilly has said he hopes to get money so local police departments can replace the vests at no cost to the taxpayer.

    Other communities, such as Salem and Topsfield, lucked out and purchased bulletproof vests from other vendors, including First Choice armor, which have not shown any problems in testing. Topsfield Chief Daniel O'Shea, who serves as secretary of the Essex County Police Chiefs Association, said he knows many local departments are affected by the Second Chance situation. The issue has been discussed at the monthly meetings.

    According to current figures, 90 bulletproof vests are dispersed among the 430 Essex County Sheriff's Department correctional officers -- particularly those in canine, tactical, transportation and warrant apprehension divisions. Paul Fleming, spokesman for Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins, said some of the vests are Second Chance models.

    Cousins submitted information to help Reilly prepare the class action suit, Fleming said. The sheriff's department hopes to get state and/or federal grant money to pay for new vests.

    "As soon as we can, we want to replace them," Fleming added.

    In the meantime, most officers, such as Marblehead Patrolman Jason Conrad, will continue wearing a bulletproof vest even if there's some question as to whether it will work.

    "It makes you a little nervous," says Conrad, 27, a Marblehead patrolman for the past three years, "but I do feel having what we have is better than nothing."

    nnn

    Staff reporters Jamie Jamieson and Marc Fortier contributed to this article.
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  2. #2
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    And this would be funny if half your FD was working with SCBA's that were defective? Grow up!

  3. #3
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    Thumbs down

    What the heck was the point of that post?

  4. #4
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by firefiftyfive
    What the heck was the point of that post?
    It appears to have been a frivolous attempt at a shot (no pun intended) at a fellow Forum member. I found it to be in extremely poor taste.

    Jesse... you owe George and every LEO an apology.
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  5. #5
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    It would be slightly less aggravating if there weren't a bunch of folks on my job right now wearing those defective vests.

  6. #6
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Bad taste on my part.

    Sorry George........didnt think.......just plain didnt think.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bad taste on my part.

    Originally posted by stm4710
    Sorry George........didnt think.......just plain didnt think.
    Delete the thread.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    Sorry George........didnt think.......just plain didnt think.
    Another feeble attempt to back away from another ridiculous post. Some people never change.
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  9. #9
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    The article was interesting, but come on, Jesse ... all I could think of as I was reading was "what does this have to do with George?". I kept waiting for the punchline. I guess that's been covered though, with your typical "I'm sorry" response. Why is it that at least once a week, you get chastised by someone for not using your noodle?!! Hasn't the advice you've been given over the past six months by a few of the crusties even sunk in?
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  10. #10
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RspctFrmCalgary
    The article was interesting, but come on, Jesse ... all I could think of as I was reading was "what does this have to do with George?". I kept waiting for the punchline. I guess that's been covered though, with your typical "I'm sorry" response. Why is it that at least once a week, you get chastised by someone for not using your noodle?!! Hasn't the advice you've been given over the past six months by a few of the crusties even sunk in?
    Apparently not.

    let's try again..

    Jesse: you have made it onto a fire department (although you still haven't said where).

    One of the firehouse traditions is "tagging" the new guy with a nickname. Making stupid and inappropriate comments will give the firefighters you work with all the ammunition they need. A nickname is one that wil stay with you your entire career... and I already know firefighters with names like the Wizard, Dumb, Dumber, Gump, etc.

    If you get to the State Fire Academy, the "I'm sorry" defense will not get you out of deficiency points.

    You know... suddenly I have a feeling of deja vu all over again!
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  11. #11
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Unhappy Jesse????

    May I respectfully request that you delete this thread? Thank You.
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    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    Poor, poor taste.

    Just FYI stm4710, if you do a little research I think you'll find that the material failing is used in some FF PPE too.

  13. #13
    Forum Member BCmdepas3280's Avatar
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    Default ? for George

    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    It would be slightly less aggravating if there weren't a bunch of folks on my job right now wearing those defective vests.
    Did your department recall the vests or try to get the Mgf. to make good on replacing the vests. The reason I ask is the union president of our P.D. is battling to get vest replaced for that very reason. I passed the news article on to him.

    And if stump4710 would have posted this has an informational thread instead of a ba11 bust it may have showed some maturity.....I guess not
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    This aggravates me on 2 levels - first, it's not funny for my LEO friends and second, we have vests on our rescues. Haven't used them yet but I'd like to think they'd work if I needed them....

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    Default Re: ? for George

    Originally posted by Ltmdepas3280


    Did your department recall the vests or try to get the Mgf. to make good on replacing the vests. The reason I ask is the union president of our P.D. is battling to get vest replaced for that very reason. I passed the news article on to him.

    And if stump4710 would have posted this has an informational thread instead of a ba11 bust it may have showed some maturity.....I guess not
    As far as I know, we are trying to get the mfg. to do the right thing. I think they have an agreement.

    One other thing:
    DELETE THE THREAD!

  16. #16
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default

    JESSE, DELETE THE THREAD!

  17. #17
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Can't---- not a moderator.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    Gee Wwhat an informative and educational thread and how many times a week do you strap on a vest and wonder if your gonna have to find out if it works today????

    Get some treatment for your rectal-cranial inversion fast. The "I'm sorry" excuse doesnt work in the grown up world, so either post something worth posting or keep your yap shut!!! Iím sure Iím not the only forum member here tired of seeing your useless posts!!!!!!!
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  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber F18Wub's Avatar
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    Originally posted by stm4710
    Can't---- not a moderator.

    Then why don't you ask WT to delete it for you.

    And, maybe start posting with some intelligence.
    IACOJ, Flatlander Division

  20. #20
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    Default

    I don't know what's going on here, but I think it probably has something to do with why I have the starter of this thread on my ignore list. Man, that's a great feature to have on an open forum!

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