The Dallas Police Department is considering a policy that would require all of its uniformed officers to wear bulletproof vests in the field.
The vests cost about $100,000 per year.
Most of the nation's police agencies require officers to wear body armor. It can protect officers in shootings, knife attacks and car crashes.
A Dallas police officer who was shot in 2003 said the vests can save lives. He and four other officers were wounded when a gunman opened fire on them at an apartment.
"One of the officers in that standoff later received some shotgun rounds to the vest, to his chest, and, of course, (they) did not penetrate, and that probably saved his life," Sgt. Mike Flusche said.
But the proposal isn't sitting well with all officers, especially during the hot summer.
"The older officers, the more senior officers that didn't wear them for the longest time -- they're the ones that want it to be an option and a choice," Senior Cpl. Kevin Janse said. "If it's to simply make officers more safe, I don't see how you could lose."
Flusche, a 29-year veteran of the department, said he doesn't leave home without his vest.
"There's days when I have to make myself put it on," he said. "But I'd rather be hot and sweaty than something else happen. The confidence level going up against an armed suspect without the vest on, I wouldn't have had the confidence to do what we did, which was try to make entry in there to save those people."
The two largest local police unions did not respond Thursday to requests for comment on the issue.