JTIC Answers Your Questions About Body Armor

JTIC fields questions regarding body armor through our information request email, asknlectc@justnet.org. Questions come in from manufacturers who are generally looking to ensure that they meet the Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor NIJ Standard 0101.06. The NIJ Standard is recognized worldwide as the minimum performance standard for ballistic-resistant body armor.  It establishes standardized test methods and threat rounds to evaluate armor in several different threat classifications, for both soft and hard armor designs. This provides the end user with confidence that the armor has been independently tested and found to meet these minimum performance requirements.

Police officers, sheriff’s deputies and correctional officers make up the rest of our requestors of information on body armor.

With more and more agencies turning to external vest carriers, the question of which is better (concealable or external) comes up a lot. There is no right or wrong answer, as it’s really a matter of personal preference.

Concealable body armor allows a wearer to have a more traditional look, as it is worn under the duty uniform. All of your regular issued uniform items can still be worn over your uniform, such as cruiser jackets, sweaters, windbreakers, etc. External carriers are a bit larger and usually thicker. Many agencies are going to an external carrier that is made of material that matches the duty uniform shirt, so it still looks like the officer is wearing his regular duty uniform.

The external carrier also allows the wearer to take off body armor while completing administrative tasks, such as writing a report at the station or using the restroom at a fire station. Most external carriers allow for additional equipment that an officer doesn’t have to carry on his or her gun belt, such as an extra magazine for a patrol rifle, extra handcuffs or a pistol magazine. It is extremely important that if an agency decides to use concealable ballistic panels made by one company and place them into the external carrier made by a different company that they consult with the manufacturer of the ballistic panels and confirm with them that it is OK to do so. Many manufacturers are saying that placing their ballistic panels into another manufacturer’s external carrier will void the warranty. This is because their panels were shot and tested through our program in their carrier and they can’t guarantee that the ballistic protection won’t be compromised if shot while in another carrier.

Read a full blog entry from Ben Bolton on Body Armor Questions at https://www.justnet.org/blog.html.┬áSend your questions about body armor to Ben Bolton, Outreach & Technical Services Coordinator, JTIC at asknlectc@justnet.org, or call (800) 248-2742. Stay safe and please … always wear your body armor.

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