Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Barbara Goldman Carrel
Deputy Sheriff Isaac Smith, the first law enforcement officer to lose his life in the line of duty, was fatally shot in 1792. Yet it was not until April 2,1931, that one of the first demonstrations of ballistic wear for the personal protection of law enforcement personnel was documented by Washington, D.C.'s Evening Star . Unfortunately, most ballistic-resistant designs of the time were neither effective nor practical for everyday police use. Due to the dramatic rise in officer fatalities from handguns during the 1960s, the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, predecessor of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), instituted a program to create lightweight body armor for police personnel. In the 1970s, government researchers Lester Shubin and Nicholas Montanarelli tested DuPont's new Kevlar ® plastic fabric (invented to replace steel belting in radial tires) for its ballistic resistance potential. Kevlar ® proved successful in repelling bullets Fabricated ...