Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly called yesterday on manufacturers and distributors that may have sold faulty body armor to police officers in the state to replace the bulletproof vests immediately, reports the Boston Globe. Reilly said he sent letters to 17 firms, a week after the US Department of Justice announced the results of tests on 103 bulletproof vests containing Zylon, a high-strength, bullet-resistant material. Nearly 60 percent of the vests were penetrated by at least one round during a six-shot test series, according to the study.
A spokesman for the company that manufactures Zylon said the material is safe. The National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the Justice Department, began analyzing the vests in late 2003, shortly after Reilly announced that he planned to sue the manufacturer of a widely worn model. The vests, once popular with police officers because they were lighter than other body armor, also wear out faster than the state’s five-year-performance requirements, the study showed.