The Current Challenges Facing Public Order Units
The 2021 Global Peace Index  recently published that riots, general strikes and anti-government demonstrations around the world have increased by 244% over the last decade – a growing problem that law enforcement in North America will have to deal with face-to-face. Proper training, department organization and new initiatives in gathering intelligence are critical in helping law enforcement identify and properly manage these events before, during and after they happen. However, when these gatherings turn violent, law enforcement officers need to also be properly prepared and properly equipped to remain effective protecting the public, themselves, and other officers. Today’s police officers now must respond to a much more organized, visible, and energized crowd that can erupt quickly into riots and disorder. If the gathering becomes volatile, the best-case scenario is that the officer can mediate the situation before it turns violent. This requires new ways of thinking about crowd management and tactics in identifying and de-escalating threats. There are a number of different ways that police forces can achieve this goal. One particularly effective approach is situational role-playing; which is training designed to produce an authentic, safe and dynamic replication of the operational environment. This type of reality-based training is being quickly adopted by law enforcement agencies to help officers hone their skills and develop better judgment when faced with real-world situations.
THE APPEARANCE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AS A GUARDIAN, NOT GLADIATOR
One of the most effective new tactics in de-escalation is presenting law enforcement as non-oppositional in their appearance, as a guardian, not a gladiator. Which is why we strongly suggest that agencies invest in low-profile protective solutions. Police officers now have the option of deploying with discreet bodily protection that is low-profile, as opposed the traditional Robo-Cop style protective gear. This new style of protective equipment can in itself contribute to de-escalation by presenting a non-aggressive posture to the public. Additionally, with every move being filmed, and every interaction scrutinized, the reality of what is transpiring can be ‘spun’, regardless of what actually transpired. Quite simply, optics can override facts. Equipment manufacturers have made impressive developments in designing gear that can keep police officers safe while presenting a non-aggressive posture to the public. Our choice of manufacturer, and leader in this development, is Xion Protective Gear, who provides discrete protection solutions that combine cutting-edge D3O® impact protection in a breathable stretch base layer build specifically for the law enforcement market.
“One of the most effective new tactics in de-escalation is presenting law enforcement as non-oppositional in their appearance, as a guardian, not a gladiator.”
Xion Protective Gear’s Discrete Deployment System (DDS) is a full body protection solution that preserves the officer’s full range of movement and maneuverability. Rampart carries three product lines of Xion DDS. All three lines provide extensive protection to your extremities and vital areas, and each have their own features built to suit different requirements. The PG1 line is a lightweight protection garment built for breathability and maneuverability. It features perforated material that provides long term comfort for users who may be active during their shift. The PG2 is a 4-way stretch jersey that comes with upgraded back protection and ribcage protectors. And finally, the FR-PG3 top and bottom offers the same blunt impact protection and is made with fire resistant material. Rampart can work with you to help determine which model best suits your unique requirements.
XION – DDS – PG1
PURPOSE BUILT MODERN PUBLIC ORDER HELMETS
An unfortunate reality is that de-escalation techniques and crowd management tactics cannot always protect against the escalation of an agitated group or those arriving with the intention of violence. For situations where violence has escalated and there are serious threats of harm to the officer – advancements in head and eye protection have become some of the most valuable gear upgrades in keeping police officers safe. Modern head protection built for public order use has many facets and features built specifically to address the threats and environments of a riot. Repeated blunt impact protection, fire and caustic agent resistance, compatibility with gas masks, and eye protection from laser pointers are all key attributes of a modern public order helmet. When looking at the best solution for public order head protection, we can examine the P100N from Schuberth, which comes in multiple price tiers. This scalable, modular public order helmet was developed with the full weight of the Schuberth research and development team behind it, who specialize in manufacturing cutting-edge head protection for many types of use – from heavy industrial head protection to Formula 1 helmets. Unlike other manufacturers, Schuberth designed the P100N from the beginning to be a public order helmet. The P100N is purpose-built and guided by extensive research and user feedback to specifically support the public order law enforcement market. A common and dangerous mistake we sometimes see is officers repurposing helmets – for example ballistic helmets – that provide ballistic protection but little to no blunt impact resistance.
“Modern head protection built for public order use has many facets and features built specifically to address the threats and environments of a riot.”
The P100N helmet from Schuberth combines multiple layers of aramid composite with an EPS foam backing. When the helmet is attacked, the exterior aramid fiber layers delaminate (or separate), dissipating some of the force before it reaches the interior EPS foam. The process of delamination also means that any damage to the helmet is localized and ensures that the protective ability of the helmet will not be compromised after a single impact. The aramid composite also ensures the highest level of stab protection in the industry. The interior of the helmet is made up of specialty EPS foam that further dissipates the impact by greatly reducing the peak spike of energy to the head and brain. The P100N also protects officers from new and different classes of weapons. The helmet is coated in a flame and chemical resistant lacquer, and the LPA version of the helmet comes complete with laser protection that can be deployed up and down as needed. It also integrates with the Avon HM50 to provide seamless respiratory protection from harmful airborne agents.
A protected police officer is one who can remain effective and in-control. The weapons used against police officers have changed significantly in the past decade, and head protection has in some cases lagged behind. The Schuberth P-100N provides the best in technology and features to protect officers at price points that are affordable for most agencies.
P100N BUYING GUIDE
The Schuberth P100N comes in a variety of models with multiple options and accessories. Our new buying guide gives you a quick breakdown of the different models at a glance. Rampart can help you source the right helmet for your agency.