New NIJ Body Armor Standards

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In July 2008, the Office of Law Enforcement Standards, National Institute of Standards and Technology released the new Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor NIJ Standard - 0101.06. This report describes the minimum performance requirements and test methods for the ballistic resistance of personal body armor, categorizes the types of body armor available, and describes the various threat levels. This standard supersedes all previous NIJ Body Armor Standards. Recognition and acceptance of the NIJ standard has grown worldwide, making it the performance benchmark for ballistic-resistant body armor.

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Featured P1 Report

June 03, 2009

Body armor meeting NIJ .06 standards now available

By PoliceOne Senior Editor Doug Wyllie

A little less than one year ago, the National Institute of Justice released NIJ Standard-0101.06, Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor, the latest evolution in standards by which law enforcement protective vests are measured. As part of our ongoing coverage of this issue, in early February of this year PoliceOne asked the question: “What vests will meet that standard, and when will they be on the market?”

That question has — at least in part — been answered this week with the news that Safariland (a division of BAE Systems) is among the first companies to receive approval from the NIJ. As of June 1, 2009, the Safariland XT-700 Type II and XT-300 Type IIIA are the only Threat Level II and Threat Level IIIA vests that have been authorized by NIJ under the new NIJ-06 standard.

Understanding the new NIJ body armor standard

By PoliceOne Senior Editor Doug Wyllie

In July 2008, the National Institute of Justice released NIJ Standard-0101.06, Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor, the latest evolution in standards by which law enforcement protective vests are measured. The “.06” standard “establishes minimum performance requirements and test methods for the ballistic resistance of personal body armor designed to protect the torso against gunfire.” In mid-December, the NIJ granted authorization to the Compliance Testing Program (CTP) to begin accepting applications for participation. Most recently, the CTP announced that the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has approved five independent ballistic test laboratories to conduct compliance testing.

What does all this mean?

The first thing that officers and departments need to know is that the new body armor standard does not invalidate body armor models that are compliant with the “.04” standard. Secondly, under the new standard, the NIJ can now require much more “rigorous testing” of ballistic armor.

Putting a name and a face on UCR stats

By PoliceOne Senior Editor Doug Wyllie

According to the NIJ, body armor has saved the lives of more than 3,000 police officers since 1975. As is regularly illustrated in the Street Survival Seminar, the dialogue about donning body armor becomes considerably more real when you have a name and a face to associate with the discussion.

Ed Hinchey, Armor Technical Specialist and Law Enforcement Liaison for Safariland, agrees.  “The FBI statistics for officers who are feloniously killed—I think the trainers who use those reports need to put faces and names to them and say, ‘these guys are local’ or ‘these are recent guys who were harmed, injured, or even killed in the line of duty. Look at the percentages but put names and faces; not just numbers,” Hinchey says.

One “name and face” who is personally known to several of us at PoliceOne is Bakersfield Police Officer Dennis Eddy, who in December 2008 returned to the streets just ten months after he was struck twice (in the chest and in the leg) by gunfire in a gang-infested neighborhood.

“February 9th will be one year since my shooting and the day that Second Chance saved my life,” Officer Eddy told PoliceOne in an exclusive interview. ““They could replace my limb after amputation, but had I not been wearing my vest, that wouldn’t be necessary because I wouldn’t be here today.”

P1 Exclusive: New body armor standards highlight importance of ''wearing your shield''

By PoliceOne Editorial Assistant Hannah Simon

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has announced a new performance standard for body armor at the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) annual conference in Arlington, Virginia.

These new body armor standards include more rigorous testing and methods that expose the equipment to temperature, humidity, as well as wear and tear – prior to testing performance.

"This important advancement in body armor standards is in direct response to changes in threats faced by law enforcement, advances in ballistic materials and technology, and the need to ensure that body armor performs well when subjected to environmental factors," said Associate Attorney General Kevin O''Connor. "Body armor standards are needed to ensure that law enforcement and corrections officers'' equipment provides a high level of safety and protection.”

The new standards were established in response to concerns from the law enforcement community about the effectiveness of body armor currently being used by officers. NIJ developed the enhanced testing program in partnership with the National Institute of Standards Technology, Office of Law Enforcement Standards.

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