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Ballistic-Resistant Body Armor Basics

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2015
2 pages
This brochure outlines the minimum information about body armor that every law enforcement officer should know, and information is provided on additional resources.
The brochure first describes the features of body armor, its capabilities, and its limitations. Among the facts provided are the following: It is usually worn as a vest, is bullet-resistant, not bullet-proof; and models are variously designed to protect against specific types, but not every type, of ammunition. It is not designed or tested to protect against edged or stabbing weapons. Its ballistic protection is for vital organs in the torso. Information also addresses the design of body armor and the importance of ensuring that the type of vest worn has been tested by the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Body Armor Compliance Testing Program and determined to comply with the requirements of the current NIJ Standard for Ballistic-Resistant Armor. In addition, inspecting, caring for, and properly storing body armor is critical for its continued maximum performance. Another section of the brochure explains ways in which a wearer of body armor can determine whether it is fitting properly.

Date Published: July 1, 2015