If you work in law enforcement and get called to handle an unruly mob, protocol requires you to don a riot suit and gather protective gear. But what does riot gear protect you from?
For decades, riot suits and accessories were bulky, weighty, and restricted an officer’s mobility. Today’s state-of-the-art riot gear has shed the drawbacks to suiting up and integrated advancements such as hydration systems. Departments and agencies with outdated gear would be well served to update their equipment so frontline men and women can protect, serve, and complete their shifts.
Different riot suits serve different purposes. Here are some features included in our riot suits:
- Chest & Back Panels
- Upper and lower arm protections
- Thigh, shin and foot protection
- Removable groin protection
- Removable groin protection
- Removable ballistics carriers
- Puncture Panels
For suit specific features, see our Riot Suits page. Here’s how riot gear supports the officers who keep communities safe from attackers with weapons.
Riot Gear Protects Officers from Melee Attacks with Blunt or Edged Weapons
A melee attack involves the use of weapons such as hammers, swords, and axes, among others.
The country has experienced organized rioters who infiltrate peaceful protests. These criminals have repeatedly used melee attacks on opposing groups and peace officers. Riot suits offer substantial protection from slashing edges and hard impacts. Our molded polypropylene panels were designed with the guidance of law enforcement professionals to provide officers with the protection they need. Flexible, full coverage panels adjust to perfectly fit and shield each officer.
Riot Gear Protects Against Thrown Projectiles
There are two key pieces of riot gear that help officers weather a storm of projectiles — the helmet and shield. Attackers typically hurl the heaviest or sharpest objects they can find when a mob turns violent. Officers may not necessarily see flying objects, such as bottles and rocks, until they make an impact.
The most vulnerable area is the head, where concussions and traumatic brain injuries can cripple an officer. The only thing that prevents riot teams from suffering these severe head injuries is their helmet. Once the assault has been identified, law enforcement has an opportunity to employ lightweight shields. These are usually held in the non-dominant arm and raised to deflect thrown projectiles.
Riot Gear Protects Against Non-Lethal Weapons
It’s important for those who authorize the purchase of protective equipment for police departments to understand the use of non-lethal force runs both ways. The average police attacker does so in the heat of the moment. Picking up a 2×4 or brick does not necessarily constitute a lethal weapon. Such items are often considered dangerous weapons, and officers may be hospitalized unless they possess adequate protective gear.
Like the makeshift melee items wielded by organized rioters, non-lethal weapons are used to make hard impacts on the head, torso, and extremities. The durable plates and padding of a riot suit stops attackers from breaking the bones of law enforcement officers.
Anti-Riot Teams Face Grave Danger Without Next-Gen Protective Gear
When a planned or spontaneous riot breaks out, anti-riot teams are tasked with using only necessary force to restore order. Riot squads employ tools such as batons, water cannons, and rubber bullets to disperse aggressive mobs. Communities need frontline officers to keep their families safe while operating at a tactical disadvantage in some cases. Police too suffer injuries that could have been avoided.
To highlight the dangers and inherent need for essential protective gear, the FBI reports that direct attacks on police officers continue to rise. From 2019 to 2022, the number of assaults on police increased by more than 4,000 and crossed 60,000 nationally. The difference between completing a patrol shift or responding to a riotous mob without injury or fatality is essential riot gear.
Haven Gear Gives Police Protection Against Weaponized Attacks
Communities ask officers to keep the peace at great personal risk, and they deserve the finest protective gear possible. At Haven Gear, we provide full-body riot suits and accessories that keep officers safe from weaponized attacks, blunt force, trauma, and sharp objects. Check out the complete line of riot suits and accessories available at Haven Gear.