Law enforcement officers face many different dangerous and stressful situations in the line of duty. Some, such as gun violence, are obvious; others dangers (e.g., fatigue) are hidden, but common, and can greatly hinder officer performance. Officer performance is also affected by training and other factors.
NIJ supports work to study and improve officer performance and safety on several fronts. For decades, NIJ has been on the forefront of testing and developing protective equipment for officers, from body armor to roadside visibility aids. NIJ also funds projects to prevent and eliminate officer fatigue and mental health problems.
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NIJ establishes and updates voluntary minimum performance standards for body armor, conducts testing against these standards to ensure that body armor complies with the standards, and sponsors research to improve body armor.
NIJ has developed the Safety, Health, and Wellness Strategic Research Plan to describe the current and projected efforts of NIJ to promote the safety, health, and wellness of individuals affected by, or employed within, the criminal justice system.