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Inside Look at Creating Standards for Equipment

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2015
2 pages
Publication Series
This article is the transcript of an interview with the Office Director (Chris Tillery) of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Office of Science and Technology about its equipment standards development process.
The interview addresses nine issues. The first issue concerns the reason NIJ develops performance and testing standards for equipment used by criminal justice agencies. Such standards are intended to ensure that the equipment purchased by criminal justice agencies meets minimum performance requirements for its intended use. The second issue discussed is NIJ's process for deciding which equipment standards to develop. The third question focuses on the process involved in creating a standard. The fourth question asks why the U.S. Justice Department decided to develop a recently approved trademark for its standards. The fifth issue considered is why budgets have gotten tighter for Federal agencies in recent years and how this is affecting NIJ's standards development. This led to the sixth issue discussed, i.e., NIJ's encouragement of private-sector bodies to voluntarily develop consensus standards. Such bodies include ASTM International and the National Fire Protection Association. The seventh question concerns how NIJ can be sure that standards developed by such private-sector organizations meet performance requirements for use by criminal justice agencies. The eighth issue discussed is whether the standards developed by the private-sector bodies can be downloaded for free, as is the case with standards developed by NIJ. The concluding question asks what NIJ has achieved thus far in its strategy of involving the private sector in standards development appropriate for criminal justice agencies, as well as NIJ's future plans for this effort.

Date Published: June 1, 2015