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We work with you to develop effective policy and procedure directives that "work on the street."

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If our police officers and deputies are to be held accountable for carrying out their assigned duties properly, they must know exactly what is expected of them.

The importance of clearly written and legal policy and procedure directives as a tool for stating management expectation and performance standards cannot be overestimated. Directives establish a specific code of acceptable behavior as well as guide the officer in decision making. Directives also serve as an official notice of the intent of the Chief or Sheriff on specific issues. With a properly established policy and procedure directive system, controversy about official department policy on critical and sensitive issues is decreased.

Law Enforcement Solutions can assist you in developing a new policy and procedure manual, revising an existing manual or develop individual policies and procedures as needed. A comprehensive policy and procedures directive system should address: Patrol operation, criminal investigations, vehicle pursuit, vehicle operations, deadly force, non-deadly force, firearms, property and evidence control, communications, vice and drug enforcement, juvenile operations, records, training, personnel selection, promotions, fiscal management, organizational structure, mutual aid, special operations, crime prevention, community relations, internal affairs, public information, traffic enforcement, accident investigation, victim/witness assistance, prisoner transportation, holding facility operations, court security, and others.

This is an actual policy and procedure written by the staff of Law Enforcement Solutions for a South Carolina law enforcement agency.


I. Purpose:

The purpose of this policy is to provide officers with guidelines for the proper use and care of soft body armor.

II. Policy:

It is the policy of the ABC Police Department to maximize officer safety through the use of body armor in conjunction with the practice of prescribed safety procedures. While body armor provides a significant level of protection, it is not a substitute for sound, basic safety procedures.

III. Procedure:

A. Issuance of Body Armor

1. All officers shall be issued body armor unless the officer desires to use his/her own body armor. The Chief of Police shall approve all body armor.

2. The Department shall replace body armor that is worn or damaged through normal use. The officer shall pay for body armor that must be replaced due to misuse or abuse.

3. When an officer terminates his/her employment the Chief of Police may allow the officer to purchase his/her issued vest for an established price.

B. Use of Body Armor

1. All officers engaged in street police duties are required to wear body armor unless exempted by this policy. This includes off duty police related employment by an officer in uniform.

2. An officer may be exempt from wearing body armor under any of the following circumstances:

a. When a physician states, in writing, that an officer has a medical condition that would preclude use of body armor; or

b. When the officer is involved in undercover or plain clothes work that the officer's supervisor determines would be compromised by use of body armor; or

c. When the officer is assigned to perform an administrative function which usually involves no patrol or response to patrol situations; or

d. During training, except when specified otherwise by the instructor or the Training Officer; or

e. When the Chief of Police or Assistant Chief determines an exemption is appropriate due to an exceptional circumstance, i.e. on Day Shift when the temperature is excessive, etc.

4. Officers shall wear only Department approved body armor.

5. On those occasions when exempted from wearing soft body armor, the officer must have their personal armor ready at hand and within reach in their vehicle.
(Ref: CALEA 41.3.6)

C. Inspections of Body Armor

Supervisors shall be responsible for ensuring that body armor is worn and maintained as required by this policy.

D. Care and Maintenance of Body Armor

1. Each officer is responsible for the proper storage and daily inspection of his/her body armor for signs of damage and general cleanliness.

2. When offduty, the officer shall store his/her body armor in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

3. Each officer shall be responsible for cleaning personal body armor in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

4. Officers are responsible for reporting, in writing, any damage or wear to the ballistic panels or cover to the officer's immediate supervisor. The supervisor will then advise the Assistant Chief.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2005

Approved, John A. Smith
Chief of Police

Click here to download this directive.

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phone: 803.731.8130

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