Three Maryland police officers were shot and seriously injured in the past two weeks despite wearing bullet-resistant vests, says the Baltimore Sun. In each case, bullets found the vulnerabilities of the vests, which provide only partial coverage of the torso. “For some reason, these bad guys get some of the luckiest shots off in the world,” said Paul Blair, the head of the Baltimore police union. Bill Toohey, a spokesman for Baltimore County police, said ballistic vests are not mandatory, but he estimated that 95 percent of the officers wear one. Ballistic vests have saved the lives of more than 2,500 officers since 1973, says the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Earlier this week, Trooper First Class Eric Workman was critically injured when a bullet entered his lung through his armpit. “Only the foolish would call them ‘bulletproof,'” said Sgt. Russell Newell, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police. “They drum it into us that [vests] will slow down or attempt to deflect the rounds, but they will not stop everything we encounter.”