2 Colorado deputies killed in past month despite bullet-resistant vests

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DENVER -- Two Colorado deputies have been shot and killed in the past several weeks. Both were wearing body armor, but it failed to save their lives.

Law enforcement experts say that's because most body armor is bullet resistant, not bulletproof.

"It doesn't stop all rounds. There are certain types of rifle rounds and handgun rounds the vests won't stop," said Rick Reigenborn, a detective with the Mountain View Police Department and a former Adams County sheriff's deputy.

"The vests also don't cover an officer's entire chest and upper body.

"The whole underside of me is all open, and you could have bullets hit from a side angle."

There were limitations 3 1/2 weeks ago when five Douglas County sheriff's deputies were ambushed and shot.

Some SWAT teams wear vests made of ceramic or steel, but only in the most dangerous situations because they're cumbersome.

"They're heavy. Very heavy," Reigenborn said.

There are a handful of agencies in Colorado that don't provide vests at all. That's something that troubles Reigenborn.

"Most wives say that's the sound they like to hear at the end of the night, the sound Velcro and the vest coming off, because they know you're home, that you made it," Reigenborn said.

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