Ballistic safety helmet
Ballistic safety helmet: More safety for dangerous operations
From fall 2018, the first police officers in NRW will receive a ballistic helmet. It weighs 3.3 kilograms and offers a very high level of protection. The new helmet stands for maximum safety - combined with the necessary wearing comfort.

Experts and practitioners have meticulously tried and tested various helmet models under training and laboratory conditions. In doing so, they always focused on the actual incident: In the event of terrorist attacks or amok operations, patrol officers arrive at the scene first. Many operational scenarios do not allow them to wait for a special task force (SEK) to arrive. Immediate intervention is necessary. During such operations, officers must be protected as best as possible from projectiles fired at close range. "We also protect our police officers from armed attacks with modern equipment. The ballistic helmet is a further component in the equipment that ensures greater safety during dangerous operations," says Dirk Weiler, responsible for weapons at the NRW State Office for Police Services (LZPD). Together with his team, he has searched for and found the optimum ballistic protective helmet for the NRW police - the first deliveries are expected in the fall. This purchase is part of a larger context: "The police equipment is continuously reviewed and, if necessary, adapted based on experience from past operations," explains Dirk Weiler. "Findings from international police operations, such as terrorist attacks and assassinations in Europe, are also incorporated into these reviews and developments." Ballistic protective vests alone are not enough to provide reliable protection in these situations. Only in combination with ballistic helmets can a high level of protection be achieved for police officers on duty. Dirk Weiler is certain that he has now found the right helmet for the requirements of the NRW police: "With its combination of acceptable weight and very high protection, the new ballistic helmet offers maximum safety."

5,000 helmets by the end of the year

In a first step, around 5,000 helmets will be purchased for the operational service by the end of 2018. The Ministry of the Interior (IM) NRW is investing around 18 million euros in this. The helmet only offers maximum protection if it can also be used in difficult operational situations. For example, it was important to the experts and practitioners involved that the helmet also offers protection against attacks with assault rifles in the front area. For this reason, the helmet is equipped with a forehead shield or front plate and a splinter protection visor. The intention is to purchase around 10,500 protective helmets this year and next year.

A well-equipped police force

The purchase of the ballistic protective helmets is not the first step towards equipping the NRW police force more safely: protective vests that can also withstand fire from assault rifles were already purchased in 2016. This year, a new protective vest with additional polycarbonate inserts was added. The same material is also used to manufacture police shields, as it is light, durable and resistant to ageing. The purchase of the protective helmets also has a history: the acceptance and the associated tactical suitability of the helmets from various suppliers was tested last year by the State Office for Police Training, Further Training and Personnel Matters (LAFP NRW) in a training course designed for this purpose. The tests involved operational trainers from the riot police, the local training centers of the district police authorities, operational forces from the Mobile Emergency Command (MEK) and training instructors from the LAFP NRW. After the corresponding results and subsequent tendering process, the contract for the purchase of the helmets was finally signed.

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In urgent cases: Police emergency number 110