U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Protecting Law Enforcement from Today's Hazards

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2009
3 pages
This paper reports on the rationale for the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) development of a new standard specifically for a chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear (CBRN) ensemble for law enforcement personnel, as well as the method used to develop the standard and the protection levels it provides.
The standard was developed because law enforcement personnel are trained to respond to CBRN incidents and environments, and they cannot always adapt fire department and hazmat personal protective equipment (PPE) for the various law-enforcement functions performed in a CBRN context. The NIJ CBRN Protective Ensemble Standard for Law Enforcement was the first NIJ standard to be developed by using a special technical committee composed of law enforcement practitioners, subject-matter experts, and scientists. The panel worked for more than a year to develop the standard and companion documents. The standard contains minimum performance requirements for protective ensembles and test methods used to verify the performance. The standard covers the ensemble as well as the ensemble elements such as gloves and foot protection. The standard defines four Law Enforcement Response Levels, which are levels of ensemble protection based on mission requirements, expected mission duration, durability, and CBRN threat environments. Level 1 is for the highest level threat, and level 4 is for the least threatening. This paper provides examples of mission scenarios for each of the four levels.

Date Published: July 1, 2009