On average, a law enforcement officer is killed every 63 hours.1 A bullet-resistant vest has saved the lives of more than 3,200 officers over the last 30 years.2 Take your safety into your own hands! Watch this roll call series designed to reinforce the importance of wearing a properly fitted bullet-resistant vest and properly maintaining that vest according to National Institute Justice (NIJ) standards.
This technical document presents NIJ Standard-0101.06, Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor, a minimum performance standard developed in collaboration with the Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). NIJ Standard-0101.06 establishes minimum performance requirements and test methods for the ballistic resistance of personal body armor intended to protect against gunfire.
There are those who say that “nothing happens here.” Translation: You have not been attacked or in a serious auto crash—yet. Numerous officers have been saved in auto crashes by their armor, so it’s not just a gun or edged-weapon threat to be concerned about. We must not allow complacency to be our downfall.
Now is the time to refocus attention on officer safety, health, and wellness concerns—to discuss and identify best practices in protecting our officers. More than ever, officers need to be able to think and perform with ease and accuracy. Maintaining and investing in officer safety, health, and wellness are the most critical actions that an agency can take.
This guide has two principal purposes. The first is to inform law enforcement, corrections, and other public safety agencies in the development of sound policies and procedures concerning body armor, from procurement to disposal. The second is to provide officers with a better understanding of the importance of wearing body armor, wearing it correctly, and caring for it properly. This guide is also intended to provide readers with a better understanding of body armor and how it works, explain NIJ Standard-0101.06 in nontechnical terms, and provide an overview of the voluntary equipment compliance testing program established by NIJ to ensure the effectiveness of body armor sold to law enforcement, corrections, and other public safety agencies.
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