National Institute of Justice Guide to Body Armor

National Institute of Justice Guide to Body Armor

Selection and Application Guide to Ballistic-Resistant Body Armor for Law Enforcement, Corrections and Public Safety

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) provides a guide to help law enforcement, corrections and public safety agencies make smart choices when it comes to selecting, purchasing and caring for the best body armor for your specific needs.

From the Overview of the Guide

This guide has two principal purposes. The first is t inform law enforcement, corrections and other public safety agencies in the development of sound policies and procedures concerning body armor from its procurement to its disposal. The second is to provide officers 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 its readers 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.

The heart of the guide - how to proceed to select and purchase body armor - begins with chapter 4 and includes chapters explaining how to assess the level of protection needed, things to think about when selecting armor and ways to keep it in proper working order. An extensive collection of appendixes is available for reference. 

A team of active-duty law enforcement and corrections officers, technical experts and others with relevant knowledge and experience related to ballistic-resistant body armor, compliance testing and conformity assessment developed this guide. 


Body Armor Only Saves Lives When It’s Worn…

Officers Feloniously Killed 2002-2011
Body armor only saves lives when it’s worn. Research published by RAND in 2010 indicates that an officer who is not wearing armor is 3.4 times more likely to suffer a fatal injury if shot in the torso than an officer who is wearing body armor.
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