Police officers wear a variety of garments that provide protection from physical and chemical hazards, including protective vests, gloves, goggles, gas masks and coveralls, according to PoliceOne.com. For example, Atlas T3 vests have pockets that can hold armor inserts, notes GH Armor Systems. DuPont makes protective vests and other clothing out of Kevlar, a special fabric that is both bullet-resistant and stab-resistant, according to the company's website.
There are many types of protective police clothing and gear that are based on military and hazardous materials technologies, and standards are emerging that help police departments choose the proper protective clothing and gear to match specific threats, according to Police Chief Magazine. For example, the 2007 edition of the National Fire Protection Association Standard on First Responder Protective Ensembles for CBRN Terrorism Incidents recommends adjustments in personal protective clothing and equipment ensembles based on 3 different threat levels.
Class 2 threats must have protective ensembles made of fabric that meets the highest standards of impermeability and is aligned with the use of self-contained breathing apparatuses, states Police Chief Magazine. Clothing ensembles for a class 3 threat have less stringent permeability standards and use air-purifying respirators. The barrier materials used to make class 3 ensembles are often more breathable because clothing items for this threat level are required to have a barrier material that passes a minimum 200 watts per square meter Kelvin Total Heat Loss, or THL, standard. At each level, gloves and footwear should offer at least the same level of protection as the barrier material.