NIJ's Body Armor Challenge

Sidebar to the article Ballistic Body Armor: A Closer Look at the Follow-Up Inspection and Testing Program by Michele R. Coppola

Most law enforcement agencies replace their body armor every three to five years — the typical length of the manufacturer's warranty. However, scientists suspect that the ballistic performance of an individual vest may vary due to a variety of physical, chemical and environmental factors.

In September 2012, NIJ issued the first Department of Justice Challenge, asking scientists, inventors and innovators to submit creative ways to test the performance and usability of body armor without destroying it. The goal of the challenge is to empower those who depend on this critical safety equipment to make informed decisions based on solid scientific evidence regarding the ballistic performance of the body armor they use. Winners of the first phase of this multiphase challenge are expected to be announced in March 2013. Read the challenge.

Date Created: February 27, 2013