For 50 years, Propper has designed and manufactured tactical clothing and gear for law enforcement, military and public safety professionals, but earlier this year, one of its products did something remarkable—it literally saved a life.
Troup County (GA) Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Hockett was wearing Propper 4PV body armor under his uniform when he responded to a call in a rural region last January. A gunfight broke out and the perpetrator’s buckshot inflicted wounds to the 24-year-old deputy’s forehead, side, hand and elbow. He returned fire, though, and after hitting the attacker in the shoulder, managed to call for backup and escape to a safe distance. Dashcam footage of the incident was posted and provides a stark view of the perils faced by those who protect and serve.
The perpetrator surrendered without incident several hours later. Deputy Hockett was treated for his wounds, is back on duty and recently received a replacement vest from the company.
Propper launched its body armor line in 2014, and this is the first recorded save by Propper 4PV, which has side panels to bridge the gap between front and back protection.
"We are extremely grateful that the vest did its job and Deputy Hockett survived this potentially deadly encounter," said Skip Church, vice president of armor products for Propper. "The four-panel design of the 4PV placed the protection where he needed it. A typical two-piece vest would not have performed as well."
Propper landed its first contract with the U.S. Navy in 1967, and today it provides combat uniforms for the U.S. Army, battle uniforms for the U.S. Air Force, boots, foul-weather gear for the Coast Guard, Marine Corps combat utility uniforms and a variety of specialty wear, including fire- and heat-retardant versions. The company takes great pride in its military connections, and recently donated thousands to the USO of Missouri.