Skip to content

Peters Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Equip Female DHS Officers with Next Generation Body Armor Technology

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced bipartisan legislation to provide next generation body armor tailored to best meet the coverage, fit, and functionality needs of female law enforcement personnel at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Recent ballistic testing by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identified that body armor typically used by DHS officers can allow bullets to deflect off the chest of the armor and hit the throat area, leaving female officers, and some male officers, vulnerable. The bill would require all agencies under DHS to provide law enforcement personnel with appropriately fitting improved ballistic body armor to keep them safe.     

“Our brave Department of Homeland Security law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. They deserve the best possible equipment to protect themselves when on the job,” said Senator Peters. “This commonsense bill will ensure all officers, regardless of gender or body type, have access to the most advanced and effective body armor available and are protected when in harm’s way.”   

In 2022, the FBI conducted ballistic testing using updated procedures and improved body molds that accounted for different body types. The testing found that the commonly used body armor, when tested on a female and certain male molds, was vulnerable to a bullet, or other projectile, ricocheting off the top center of the front armor panel and into the throat area, which could kill an officer. Since the testing, improved ballistic body armor has been created and is available, but DHS does not provide this potentially life-saving body armor to their officers.  

The bipartisan DHS Better Ballistic Body Armor Act would require all agencies under DHS to provide their female law enforcement officers, and any law enforcement personnel, with improved ballistic body armor to better protect them in the line of duty.