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Body Armor Use, Care, and Performance

Body Armor Use, Care, and Performance

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Published by Bill DeWeese
Body Armor Use, Care, and Performance in Real
World Conditions: Findings from a National
Survey
Author: Heath Grant, Ph.D., Bruce Kubu, Bruce Taylor,
Ph.D., Jack Roberts, Ph.D., Megan Collins,
Daniel J. Woods, Ph.D.
November 2012
Body Armor Use, Care, and Performance in Real
World Conditions: Findings from a National
Survey
Author: Heath Grant, Ph.D., Bruce Kubu, Bruce Taylor,
Ph.D., Jack Roberts, Ph.D., Megan Collins,
Daniel J. Woods, Ph.D.
November 2012

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Bill DeWeese on Dec 08, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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The author(s) shown below used Federal funds provided by the U.S.Department of Justice and prepared the following final report:Document Title: Body Armor Use, Care, and Performance in RealWorld Conditions: Findings from a NationalSurveyAuthor: Heath Grant, Ph.D., Bruce Kubu, Bruce Taylor,Ph.D., Jack Roberts, Ph.D., Megan Collins,Daniel J. Woods, Ph.D.Document No.: 240222Date Received: November 2012Award Number: 2009-SQ-B9-K112This report has not been published by the U.S. Department of Justice.To provide better customer service, NCJRS has made this Federally-funded grant final report available electronically in addition totraditional paper copies.Opinions or points of view expressed are thoseof the author(s) and do not necessarily reflectthe official position or policies of the U.S.Department of Justice.
 
 
Body Armor Use, Care, and Performancein Real World Conditions:Findings from a National Survey
*
 
Authors:
 
Heath Grant, Ph.D.
**
 Bruce Kubu
**
 Bruce Taylor, Ph.D.
***
 Jack Roberts, Ph.D.
****
 Megan Collins
**
 Daniel J. Woods, Ph.D.
**
Submitted to the National Institute of JusticeNovember 1, 2012
* This project was supported by Grant No. 2009–SQ–B9–K112 awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this document arethose of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S.Department of Justice or any other organization.** Police Executive Research Forum: 1120 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 930, Washington, DC 20036*** NORC at the University of Chicago: 4350 East‐West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814**** American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Fellow, Independent Consultant 
 This document is a research report submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice. This report has notbeen published by the Department. Opinions or points of view expressed are those of the author(s)and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.
 
i
TABLE
 
OF
 
CONTENTS
 
Executive Summary................................................................................................................... iiiIntroduction .................................................................................................................................. 1Review of Relevant Literature ............................................................................................... 5Research Methods ..................................................................................................................... 17Phase One: The National Body Armor Survey ............................................... 17Participants (Study Sample) ................................................................... 17Measures .......................................................................................................... 23Procedures ...................................................................................................... 26Phase Two: Testing Body Armor Degradation by Physical andExperiential Factors .................................................................................................. 27Participants (Vest Study Sample) ......................................................... 28Measures .......................................................................................................... 32Procedures ...................................................................................................... 35Results ............................................................................................................................................ 40The National Body Armor Survey ....................................................................... 40Respondent Demographics...................................................................... 40Officer Behavior: Body Armor Usage .................................................. 42Officer Behavior: Care and Maintenance of Body Armor ........... 45Agency Body Armor Policy ...................................................................... 48Body Armor Selection/Acquisition ...................................................... 52Body Armor Training ................................................................................. 57Officer Knowledge of Proper Body Armor Careand Usage Factors ........................................................................................ 59Testing Body Armor Degradation by Physical and ExperientialFactors ............................................................................................................................. 60Recap of Project Methods ......................................................................... 60Testing .............................................................................................................. 61Ballistic Performance Parameter Results .......................................... 62Summary of Key Findings ........................................................................ 71Discussion..................................................................................................................................... 74Prevalence of Written Body Armor Policies Nationally and TheirEnforcement ................................................................................................................. 74Officer Use of Body Armor on Duty .................................................................... 77Officer Care and Maintenance of Their Body Armor ................................... 79Comfort Needs – The Next Generation of Body Armor .............................. 80Body Armor Testing in Real Life Settings ........................................................ 81The Future: Suggestions for Future Research................................................ 82References .................................................................................................................................... 84Appendices ................................................................................................................................... 88
This document is a research report submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice. This report has notbeen published by the Department. Opinions or points of view expressed are those of the author(s)and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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