Police are not invincible as we may expect. Patrolman David Schultz spoke to Mrs. Stephanie Martinez and Mr. Todd Jensen’s forensics classes about bullet proof vests on October 30, clarifying both the history and purpose of the vests.
Schultz started his presentation by explaining that the first gun was created in the 16th century. Since the creation of the gun, people have needed bulletproof vests to protect them. But different guns make different impacts . Schultz explained that bullet-proof vests were designed to be like a soccer net. According to Schultz, when the ball hits the net and drops to the ground, it simulates how a bullet hits the vest. The bullets then drop like flies. “ We want them (the bullets) to drop,” said Schultz.
Schultz then proceeded to tell the class—made up of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors—that during the mid-1970s, DuPont introduced Kevlar— a synthetic fiber, which was woven into a fabric and layered. Kevlar was immediately incorporated into a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) evaluation program to test lightweight, able body armor to a group of police officers. Tests were set up to determine whether or not “every day” wearing vests would be possible.
Towards the end of his presentation, Schultz explained to students that researchers have now developed a way to incorporate spiders’ silk-spinning genes into goats, which allows the researchers to harvest the silk protein from the goats’ milk for a variety of applications. In law enforcement, the spider silk could be used to make body armor; the silk is “10 times stronger than steel. “ According to Schultz, this research could also have applications in bulletproof vests and improve car airbags.
Officer Schultz’s demonstration was one of a series of presentations planned by Martinez and Jensen for their forensics classes.