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Profiles of Law Enforcement Agency Body Armor Policies-A Latent Class Analysis of the LEMAS 2013 Data

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Since research on law enforcement agencies' policies and practices regarding body armor is scarce, this study examined whether there are different agency-level profiles of various body armor-related policies, and related these body armor policy profiles to agency characteristics, size, location, etc.
The study determined that U.S. law enforcement agencies have four distinct profiles based on their body armor policies. Almost half of the agencies had comprehensive coverage of body armor policies in all aspects; however, nearly one in five had weak body armor policies in all aspects. The rest of the agencies split into two groups, each with different strengths and weaknesses on selection, training, fitting, wearing, and inspection policies. Sheriff's offices and smaller agencies had weaker policies. In contrast, agencies with a community policing emphasis and those with body armor grants had stronger body armor polices, especially regarding mandatory wearing polices. Findings from the study provide a portrait of the current state of law enforcement agency body armor policies, as well as guidance for improving body armor policies and practices. (publisher abstract modified)
Date Created: January 28, 2021