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Selection and Application Guide to Police Body Armor (NIJ Guide 100-98)

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 1998
102 pages
Recognizing the significant advances in ballistic-protection materials and body armor design technology since the last version of this guide was published, the current guide is intended as a tool for law enforcement administrators and procurement officials to use in body-armor selection and purchasing.
Following descriptions of the various Federal agencies involved in the testing and standard-development for body armor, this guide reviews the history of body armor and its testing program. Next, the guide discusses reasons for wearing body armor and body armor construction. The development and content of the National Institute of Justice standard for body armor is then presented. The guide reports on the current standard for body armor (0101.03), which clarifies labeling requirements, acceptance criteria, and backface signature measurement procedures. Since the introduction of the .03 standard, there have been considerable advances in body armor materials, design technology, threats, and test methods and procedures. Future revisions of the standard will incorporate these changes. The remaining sections of the guide discuss the selection of the appropriate level of protection, the purchasing of body armor, the maintenance of body armor, body armor life expectancy, and administrative considerations. Appendixes contain a resource list, frequently asked questions, information on the effect of body armor on the risk of fatality in felonious assaults on police officers, model procurement specifications, and a body armor inspection sheet. 19 notes and a 29-item bibliography

Date Published: October 1, 1998