New Ammo Causing New Fears For Police

Thursday, February 28th 2008, 10:15 pm
By: News On 6

Police are facing a deadly new threat.  It's a new type of ammunition that can penetrate a bullet-proof vest.  News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright found anyone can buy it.

A safety alert put out by the Atlanta Police Department's homeland security unit, warns officers to be extra careful because of the ammunition.

Brian Hill with Tulsa's U.S. Shooting Academy agreed to help test the ammunition.

The academy teaches everything from basic self-defense to highly specialized weapons training to citizens, police officers and the military.

A police vest was put on a dummy and Hill took a couple of shots.

It could be seen that the vest was penetrated all the way through.

The ad for the ammunition says it shoots dozens of steel darts that cause unbelievable trauma.

Hill says NATO would not allow the military to use something like this, because although it can kill, it's intended to maim.  He says to get self-protection, there are much better choices.

"If stopping an intruder in your home is your goal, this isn't the first or second ammo you should choose, its way down the list," said Hill.

The results were shown to tactical expert Sergeant Luke Sherman with the Tulsa Police Department.

Sergeant Sherman says officers worry more about seeing a gun than what ammunition is inside, but it's still hard to understand, marketing something that penetrates a vest.

"Millions of Americans have firearms and are always experimenting with new things. Maybe it was somebody's idea to market something that will be neat down the road, but, to me, it's not," said Sergeant Sherman.

One of the shells contains a dozen steel darts, just as advertised.

Hill shot the vest with a .40-caliber firearm.  The bullet did not penetrate the 15-year-old vest.

The ammunition is legal, it's just a reminder the dangerous new threats police officers constantly face.

One sergeant recently briefed his squad on this new ammunition, just to make them aware it exists.