Question of protection: Can more be done to keep law enforcement safe?

MILWAUKEE -- We're learning more about the protective vest State Trooper Trevor Casper wore the day he died in a shootout in Fond du Lac. Officials say a bullet went through the protective vest he was wearing. So, is there anything better to protect law enforcement?

17 seconds, 21 shots -- the Fond du Lac district attorney says three of the nine shots fired by Steven Snyder on March 24th, hit Trooper Trevor Casper in the hand, neck and one went through his vest.

Trevor Casper

"All of the rounds fired by the suspect in Fond du Lac were traced back to the suspect's FNH 5.7 semi-automatic pistol. These rounds were armor-piercing," said Eric Toney, Fond du Lac County District Attorney.

"From what I read in the report, they weren't the armor-piercing that we know in the law enforcement community. They just reference them as armor-piercing because they did penetrate body armor," said Brian Dorow, Dean of Criminal Justice/Homeland Security at Waukesha County Technical College.

Brian Dorow says there are many factors that could play into why it went through, but one could be the type of gun.

"You don't come across the gun on a regular basis, and it was similar to the gun that was used to the gun that was used in the Fort Hood incident a couple years back," said Dorow.

"You have to weigh the ability to function as a law enforcement officer out there versus wearing that type of protective armor," said Lieutenant Colonial Brian Rahn, Wisconsin State Patrol.

Bulletproof vest

There are heavier vests out there...

"These are for when your SWAT teams are going and doing search warrants or riot control," said Dorow.

However, even those vests he says don't protect against everything.

"When you start adding high powered rifles, when you start adding high velocity rounds, that's a game changer when it comes to a bulletproof vest," said Dorow.

The vests look a lot different than they did five years ago. They continue to make changes to protect the officers, but despite all the advancements, officer safety continues to be a big concern.