The Advancing 21st Century Policing Community Report 2017 The Advancing 21st Century Policing Community Repo | Page 15

Advancing 21 st Century Policing: The Arlington Police Department Report to the Community OFFICER WELLNESS AND SAFETY Policies require officers to wear seat belts and bullet- proof vests. Training is provided to raise awareness of the consequences of failure to do so. Seat belts save lives. City policy requires all personnel to wear a seat belt when operating a city vehicle. Arlington Police Department General Orders require all personnel to wear seat belts while operating a city vehicle. During a two-year period starting in 2015, Arlington officers were involved in 69 crashes. Of that number, 65 officers were wearing seat belts, which places the department’s seat belt compliance rate at 94 percent. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic related crashes continue to be a leading cause of officer deaths over the past 15 years. Arlington officers and Police Service Assistants are also issued body armor to wear while on duty and in uniform. Seat belts and body armor are saving lives. Additional safety and protection The Arlington City Council wanted armored vests and ballistic helmets for every police officer in the field and in the 2016-17 city operating budget, they authorized the funding to purchase these items. Additional safety and protection for officers include vest with ceramic plates and bullet resistant head gear. This additional armor enhances the safety of the men and women in blue. Officers already wear a vest under their shirt that can stop most handgun rounds, but that is not enough to stop ammunition from a high-powered rifle. The department is seeking to provide high-powered rifle resistant body armor to officers. The bullet-resistant head gear is new for most officers. In September 2016, funds were also earmarked for a body-worn camera program. Officers respond safely to a vehicle crash and standoff on Interstate 30. 15