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Police Body Armor Consumer Product List

NCJ Number
Date Published
4 pages
This Consumer Product List (CPL) identifies two general categories of police body armor: armor suitable for routine full-time wear (types I, II-A, and II) and armor suitable for terrorist threat and tactical use only (types III-A, III, and IV).
While there is no such thing as a bulletproof vest, the police body armor models identified in the CPL have been tested by the National Institute of Justice Technology Assessment Program and have been found to comply with NIJ Standard-0101.03, Ballistic Resistance of Police Body Armor (April 1987). Armor complying with the NIJ standard meets the minimum performance requirements for police protection. Six months from April 1988, the CPL will be updated to include additional models of police armor that have been tested and found to comply with the standard. Police administrators should encourage officers to wear body armor when on duty. Soft body armor will not only protect them from handgun assaults but will also diminish injuries from automobile and motorcycle accidents. A large number of officer fatalities reported each year could have been prevented if officers wore armor. Fundamental considerations in selecting armor are the threat to which officers are exposed and the nature of their own service weapons. The minimum level of protection is Type I body armor, which is suitable for full-time wear. Type III-A armor provides the highest level of protection available in soft body armor, but it is heavy and bulky and therefore not suitable for routine wear unless officers are in tactical situations. 2 charts.