Some police departments to get new body armor

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    TRENTON-More than 100 New Jersey police departments could be affected by a Florida body armor company's decision to voluntarily exchange some of its vests, state officials said Wednesday. American Body Armor of Jacksonville, Fla., is letting police agencies replace levels II and IIIA of its Xtreme ZX vest. American Body Armor is reducing the warranty period on ZX models from 60 months to 30 months, saying that its testing found that factors such as heat and humidity can affect the ZX models more than other body armor in its product line. However, the company emphasized that the body armor has never failed to protect an officer in the field. "In this specific model, which happens to be the lightest, thinnest model that the company makes, it's appropriate to replace it more frequently than the previous standard of five years," said Michael Fox, a company spokesman. Police can opt to exchange their ZX vests for new ones with a 30-month warranty or can opt for another body armor product. There is no need to exchange the vest prior to the 30-month point, company officials said. American Body Armor, a subsidiary of Armor Holdings Inc., implemented its national warranty exchange programs as the result of a settlement reached with the Southern States Police Benevolent Association, state officials said. "The New Jersey law enforcement community is well-served by this decision and has moved rapidly to notify all police agencies of the concerns and the specifics of the exchange program," Attorney General Peter C. Harvey said. The company must try and notify every registered purchaser of the affected vests by direct mail and by advertising in trade publications. For more information, state officials said people can call the company's products division at 1-866-815-2914.