THURSDAY, JUNE 26, 1997202/307-0703


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Justice Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ) today released a report, Department of Justice and Department of Defense Joint Technology Program: Second Annual Report, which details how the two departments develop and share new technologies that will be used by both law enforcement and the military.

In 1994, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Defense (DOD) entered into a cooperative agreement to develop and implement technologies that would not only benefit national defense, but also public safety. To manage this joint technology development program, the two agencies entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that would represent both departments and be staffed by individuals from several agencies. From the Justice Department's perspective, this joint technology partnership has opened up the door to new technologies. The Defense Department has gained increased access to the law enforcement community and a greater understanding of its needs. This partnership formalizes the process of transferring technology and equipment between the military and law enforcement, which dates back to World War II.

To date, this cooperative agreement has produced promising results. New methods for detecting concealed weapons and improved body armor are being demonstrated.

"We are very excited about this cooperative effort that brings together talented individuals from DOJ and DOD to develop advanced technologies for the benefit of our nation's military and law enforcement communities," said NIJ Director Jeremy Travis. "I am confident that this joint program will continue to yield quality research and equipment necessary to carry out respective military and law enforcement functions."

The joint program consists of seven areas of technology development: concealed weapons detection, personnel tracking systems, concealable body armor, laser surveillance and dazzler system, telemedicine, portable sniper detection systems and improvements for the Ranger Body Armor system.

The concealed weapons detection system uses low-level x-rays that do not penetrate the body, but are reflected back from it to detect a weapon. Weapons being carried by an individual are discernable from their images in a picture developed by these reflected x-rays. The personnel tracking system, called Soldier 911, uses digital maps on laptop computers in combination with the satellite-based global positioning system (GPS) to continuously monitor the location and status of personnel. The body armor prototype can be concealed under an officer's uniform and provides both pistol and rifle protection. A laser surveillance and dazzler system can be used in detecting individuals, such as agitators in a crowd or snipers. Telemedicine offers the potential not only to reduce the cost of providing quality medical care to prisoners, but it reduces the need to transport prisoners out of a secure facility for medical services.

Other technologies being developed include a portable sniper detection prototype system, which uses the sound associated with a weapon firing to locate a sniper and a prototype ballistic insert for the Ranger Body Armor system. Designed to be worn as an overgarment, it offers a weight savings of approximately 30 percent over existing inserts.

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research arm of the Department of Justice, is the primary federal sponsor of criminal justice research and program evaluation. For general information about NIJ, the Internet address is General information about the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is available at

To obtain a copy of the report, please write to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), P.O. Box 6000, Rockville, Maryland 20849-6000 or call toll free


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NIJ 97-085

After hours contact: James Phillips at 888/582-6750