Standard Will Help Make Police Vehicle Doors Safer

A new ASTM International specification for ballistic-resistant car door panels aims to enhance safety for law enforcement officers.

“Officers and deputies often spend eight to 12 hours each day in their vehicles patrolling streets and highways, performing traffic stops, and responding to calls,” says ASTM International member Richard Kehr, an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. “One method for protecting officers from gunfire while in their vehicles is installation of ballistic-resistant door panels.”

ASTM International’s homeland security committee (E54) was asked by law enforcement officials to develop the standard. Kehr notes that the LAPD’s specification for such panels served as a starting point.

The specification (E3113) standardizes protection levels and test methods for the panels. It also aims to simplify the procurement process by including language that helps agencies purchase vehicles with installed ballistic-resistant panels or retrofit existing vehicles. The new standard will also be an effective tool for police training and will help manufacturers better communicate the capabilities and limitations of their products. 

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