A new agreement will support technical standards and equipment certifications – including protective equipment - for professionals who work in law enforcement, public safety, and related fields.

The five-year memorandum of understanding was recently signed by Dr. Howard Spivak, acting director at the U.S. National Institute of Justice, and Katharine Morgan, president of ASTM International, a globally-recognized standards organization.

According to Morgan, over the past five years, NIJ staff have become more active in developing standards and certification programs through, respectively, ASTM International and its affiliate, the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI).

“This MOU is a natural outgrowth of our collaborative efforts to help law enforcement professionals and others who serve our communities,” said Morgan. “NIJ staff and other experts increasingly come to our homeland security committee to create standards for protective equipment as well as areas like robotics, sensors, security systems, and decontamination. At the same time, our affiliate SEI is working closely with NIJ on certification programs for equipment such as restraints, gloves, and helmets.”

The MOU will:

  • help guide ASTM International standards development activities toward areas of greatest need,
  • support NIJ participation in ASTM International technical committees,
  • foster coordination and information sharing in research and testing activities,
  • support NIJ’s use of ASTM International standards (e.g., specifications, test methods, guides),
  • foster coordination of similar standards-related activities across U.S. federal agencies,
  • and more.

Collaborative efforts will continue at upcoming technical committee meetings such as the committee on homeland security applications (E54) meeting Feb. 26 through Mar. 1 in Gaithersburg, Maryland (USA). Anyone interested in developing standards in this area is welcome to attend.