U.S. flag

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

Providing Access to the Best Equipment Standards

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 82 Dated: August 2015 Pages: 92-93
Date Published
August 2015
2 pages
This article reviews the history, benefits, and current efforts of the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in developing and providing access to the best standards for equipment used by law enforcement and other criminal justice personnel.
Since 1972, NIJ has been setting minimum performance standards to ensure that the unique equipment used by law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies meets minimum performance requirements. NIJ has published approximately 60 standards, many of which were the first of their kind, both in the United States and internationally. The standards, developed with input from criminal justice practitioners, provide manufacturers of the equipment a better understanding of the requirements of the equipment's users. Purchasing equipment that meets NIJ's standards gives the purchasing agencies confidence that the purchased product will meet their needs. The number of standards that NIJ can develop or update is limited by the available resources of funding and staff. Because of this limitation, NIJ has adopted or modified existing standards that were developed by other organizations that develop voluntary consensus standards for equipment used by criminal justice agencies. By leveraging the resources of other standards-development bodies, such as the National Fire Protection Association and the American Society for Testing and Materials International, NIJ expands its development of needed standards and brings new technical knowledge to the creation of criminal justice standards. Examples of standards developed through such cooperation are described. In order to provide access to its standards, NIJ has created guides that cover standards for a variety of equipment used by criminal justice agencies. Examples of these guides are listed.

Date Published: August 1, 2015