Crime: A Vested Interest

A Vested Interest

As drug-related violence and semiautomatic assault rifles have spread across the nation, an increasing number of police departments have equipped their officers with bulletproof vests. Now drug dealers are following the lead. Over the past few years, police in Washington and other cities have noticed an upsurge in hoodlums clad in "soft body armor" capable of stopping a shot from a .357 Magnum, to say nothing of less powerful police sidearms.

The drug merchants seem more interested in protecting themselves from trigger-happy rivals than from the cops. But the trend has prompted police to change their tactics. The prevalence of bulletproof...

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