Propper International has been supporting military and LE personnel for decades. Most recently they’ve introduced what they’re calling the Propper Responder Kit, not least spurred to do so by the murders of police officers and sheriff’s deputies recently in Dallas and Baton Rouge. At it’s core the kit is centered around a pair (front and back) of NIJ Level IV ballistic plates in a modular PALS-equipped carrier. Plates are 10 x 12 in. single curve inserts, manufactured from high-density alumina ceramic core backed with layered composite fiber.
You’ll note the kit says RESPONDER and it has RESPONDER placard options — this is, we conjecture, because murderous assholes with guns don’t just shoot at policemen. Armor like this, with the ability to don or doff quickly, is not only an excellent option for officers who typically only wear soft armor, it’s a good piece of gear to have staged for EMTs, Firemen, hell Civic Works people who have to work on power line or water mains on the margins of urban unrest.
It is overkill for the medics and hose-draggers? We don’t think so. The idea that you can safely predict threat levels based on intelligence reports or historic threats is no longer true (though some areas are definitely more of a concern than others). Paramedics in Chicago have been “officially” wearing armor for at least a year now (and we’re guessing unofficially for longer than that). Firefighters in Georgia and and California were issued armor a year before that. We’re not sure if there are any first responders other than LEOs in the Kevlar Survivors’ Club, but the sad truth is, someone is bound to be nominated for that organization sooner or later.
As for LEOs — it’s hard to argue the value of a ready-to-hand armor upgrade, particularly given recent events.
As we understand it, the Propper Responder is a lightweight plate carrier built to accept SAPI/ESAPI or 10″x12″ “shooter cut” plates described above and comes equipped with adjustable length straps and quick release buckles, making it essentially one size fits all (or at least one size fits everyone but Hodor).
It comes with two ID placards (POLICE, SHERIFF, RESPONDER, etc.) and ships with two Level IV plates. The carrier is currently available in black, coyote, olive and MultiCam.
You can pick one up online here, and they offer 10% off a purchase if you sign up for their e-mail subscription — note that they don’t just sell it and ship. You’ll have to contact them so you can be properly vetted. We don’t know what the vetting consists of at this time, but our guess is they want to make sure you’re not a Gavin Eugene Long type dickhead.
Be safe out there, and stay dangerous.
Propper International (a member of JTF Awesome) is also on Facebook and Instagram: