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TECHNICAL REPORT 
NATICK/TR-07/021 



AD 


LAW ENFORCEMENT ADVANCED 
PROTECTION (LEAP) REQUIREMENTS 
FOCUS GROUP REPORT 


by 

Adam DiChiara 
and 

Mary Addonizio 


September 2007 


Final Report 

November 2006 - January 2007 


Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited 


U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center 

Natick, Massachusetts 01760-5019 


DISCLAIMERS 


The find in g s contained in this report are not to 
be construed as an official Department of the Army 
position unless so designated by other authorized 
documents. 

Citation of trade names in this report does not 
constitute an official endorsement or approval of 
the use of such items. 


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PLEASE DO NOT RETURN YOUR FORM TO THE ABOVE ADDRESS. 


1. REPORT DATE (DD-MM-YYYY) 2. REPORT TYPE 

21-09-2007 Final 


4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 

LAW ENFORCEMENT ADVANCED PROTECTION (LEAP) 
REQUIREMENTS FOCUS GROUP REPORT 


DATES COVERED (From - To) 

November 2006-January 2007 


5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 


5b. GRANT NUMBER 


5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 


6. AUTHOR(S) 

Adam DiChiara and Mary Addonizio 


5d. PROJECT NUMBER 

LEAP-CB-SAP 


5e. TASK NUMBER 


5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 


7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) 

US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center (NSRDEC) 
ATTN: AMSRD-NSC-TS-H (S. Castellani) 

Natick, MA 01760-5019 


8. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION 
REPORT NUMBER 

NATICK/TR-07/021 


9. SPONSORING/MONITORING AGENCY NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) 


10. SPONSOR/MONITOR'S ACRONYM(S) 


11. SPONSOR/MONITOR'S REPORT 
NUMBER(S) 


12, DISTRIBUTION/AVAILABILITY STATEMENT 

Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. 


13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 

This report should not be considered the official position of the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering 
Center (NSRDEC). This report reflects the comments and opinions of the law enforcement professionals Cont'd 


14. ABSTRACT 

This focus group report documents the findings of a Law Enforcement Advanced Protection (LEAP) Requirements User Focus 
Group on November 15-16, 2006 in Alexandria, Virginia. This focus group is one in a series of personal protective equipment 
(PPE) related user focus groups for members of the law enforcement community. Its purpose was primarily to collect data/criteria 
for operational requirements, PPE trends and concepts of operations (CONOPS) from representatives within the law enforcement 
community. Program participants represented a cross section of the country's law enforcement community, covering different 
agencies, departments, and job functions. Focus group topics included: the current state of PPE for law enforcement; PPE 
integration and compatibility concerns; chemical/biological (CB) PPE and systems; CB response mission roles and mission related 
tasks; and law enforcement duty uniforms standards related issues. Data collected through this focus group, coupled with on-going 
research and analysis will be used in a number of LEAP related activities, including the development of performance criteria for 
law enforcement specific PPE standards. 


15. SUBJECT TERMS 

POLICE FOCUS GROUP 
SURVEYS DECISION AIDS 
UNIFORMS COMPATIBILITY 


16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 


a. REPORT 

u 


PROTECTIVE SUIT PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT LAW ENFORCEMENT 
DATA COLLECTION PERFORMANCE CRITERIA PROTECTIVE CLOTHING 
FIRE PROTECTIVE CLOTHING CONOPS(CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS) 


r?/-rr Tin\ 


17. LIMITATION OF 
ABSTRACT 


18. NUMBER 19a. NAME OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON 

OF Stephanie Castellani 

PAGES - 

. , 19b. TELEPHONE NUMBER (Include area codeI 

508-233-5424 


Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8/98) 

Prescribed by ANSI Std. Z39.18 



























Box 13. Cont’d 

who participated in this focus group. Law Enforcement personnel should consider all 
aspects of personal protective equipment’s performance in determination of its suitability 
for any required application. 



Table of Contents 


List of Tables.iv 

Preface.v 

Section 1 - Introduction.1 

• 1.1 Evaluation Obj ectives.1 

• 1.2 User Focus Group Overview.1 

• 1.3 Participants.2 

• 1.4 Focus Group Methodology.3 

• 1.5 Focus Group Strengths and Limitations.3 

Section 2 - Focus Group Discussion Results.5 

• 2.1 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Integration.5 

• 2.2 Prioritizing Integration Issues - Survey Results.8 

• 2.3 Chemical / Biological Protection.9 

o 2.3.1 Law Enforcement (LE) Specific Tasks.9 

o 2.3.2 Mission Role Task Matrix.10 

o 2.3.3 Law Enforcement Specific Tasks - Integration Issues.12 

o 2.3.4 Mission Role Duration.14 

o 2.3.5 Law Enforcement Specific Physical Activities Discussion.16 

o 2.3.6 Law Enforcement Specific Physical Activities - Integration Issues ..17 

o 2.3.7 Ergonomic Testing Scenario Review.17 

o 2.3.8 Current CB PPE Discussion.23 

• 2.4 Duty Uniform Discussion.24 

o 2.4.1 Current Duty Uniform Discussion.27 

o 2.4.2 Duty Uniform Protection Needs - Survey Results.28 

• 2.5 Summarizing Discussion.28 

Section 3 - Conclusions.29 

Appendix A - Descriptions of Mission Roles.33 

Appendix B - Ergonomic Scenario Descriptions.37 

Appendix C - Integration Issues Survey Results.41 

Appendix D - Duty Uniform Protective Needs Survey Results.45 

Appendix E - Participant Information Survey Results.47 


iii 
































List of Tables 


Table 1. Participant Background Information.2 

Table 2. Integration Issues Raised by the Participants.5 

Table 3. Tasks Reviewed and Suggested by Participants.9 

Table 4. Mission Role Task Matrix.11 

Table 5. Expected Mission Role Durations.15 

Table 6. Physical Activities Reviewed and Suggested by Participants.16 

Table 7. Proposed Ergonomic Scenario for Perimeter Control.18 

Table 8. Proposed Ergonomic Scenario for Tactical Operations.20 

Table 9. Proposed Ergonomic Scenario for Criminal Investigation.22 

Table 10. Duty Uniform Needs Suggested by Participants.25 













Preface 


The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, 
(NSRDEC) in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security, Office of 
Science and Technology, Office of Standards (DHS/S&T/Stds), the National Institute of 
Standards and Technology - Office of Law Enforcement Standards (NIST/OLES), the 
National Institute of Justice, Office of Science and Technology (NIJ/OST), and the 
Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC), conducted a Law Enforcement 
Advanced Protection (LEAP) Requirements User Focus Group on November 15-16, 
2006 in Arlington, Virginia. This report contains data reflecting comments and opinions 
of law enforcement professionals who participated in the focus group. This report was 
prepared under Project Number LEAP-CB-SAP. The period covered by this report was 
from November 2006 to January 2007. 

This focus group supports the LEAP Program, and is one in a series of personal 
protective equipment (PPE) related user focus groups for members of the law 
enforcement community. Its purpose was primarily to collect data/criteria for operational 
requirements, PPE trends and concepts of operations (CONOPS) from representatives 
within the law enforcement community. Program participants represented a cross-section 
of the country’s law enforcement community, covering different agencies, departments, 
and job functions. Focus group topics included: the current state of PPE for law 
enforcement; PPE integration and compatibility concerns; chemical/biological (CB) PPE 
and systems; CB response mission roles and mission-related tasks; and law enforcement 
duty uniforms standards related issues. Data collected through this focus group, coupled 
with on-going research and analysis, will be used in a number of LEAP-related activities, 
including the development of performance criteria for law enforcement specific PPE 
standards. 


v 




LAW ENFORCEMENT ADVANCED PROTECTION 
(LEAP) REQUIREMENTS FOCUS GROUP REPORT 


Section 1 - Introduction 


1.1 Evaluation Objectives 


Goals of this focus group were to: 

(1) validate data/criteria related to performance requirements for chemical-biological 
(CB) protective equipment, 

(2) discuss law enforcement CB mission roles, 

(3) refine CB ergonomic testing protocols, 

(4) identify existing problems/consideration affecting equipment integration, and 

(5) define criteria for the performance of the every day duty uniform worn by LE officers. 


1.2 User Focus Group Overview 

Subject: User focus group for members of the law enforcement (LE) community, 
representing various agencies and regions to discuss their needs and opinions relating to: 

• personal protective equipment (PPE) 

• CB PPE and systems 

• CB response roles 

• duty uniforms 

Location and date: Holiday Inn in Arlington, VA, November 15-16, 2006, 

Sponsor: Department of Homeland Security, Office of Science and Technology, Office 
of Standards, 

Host Activity: The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering 
Center (NSRDEC), the National Institute of Standards and Technology - Office of Law 
Enforcement Standards (NIST-OLES) 

Facilitator: The Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC), Westborough, MA. 
Chief Stephen Doherty, (Ret.) 


1 



1.3 Participants 


Eleven members of the law enforcement community took part in the focus group. These 
members represented a cross section of the country’s regional law enforcement 
community, various agencies, departments, chemical/biological expertise and job 
functions. Criteria for participation included: nation-wide distribution in parallel with 
geographic locations that represented potentially vulnerable areas; NIJ OST 
recommendations; past government-sponsored focus groups and/or focus groups analysis; 
other. Geographic locations were identified as having three or more large chemical 
plants or facilities within close proximity to each other. All participants had experience 
in various CB incident response and preparedness roles. Table 1 lists the participants’ 
disciplines, years of experience and home states. 

Table 1. Participant Background Information 


Responder Discipline 

Years of Experience 

Home State 

Chemical Biological Incident Response Force 

1 -5 years 

MD 

Crime Scene Entry Team, Forensic Services 

More than 15 years 

MA 

Emergency Preparedness Unit Supervisor 

More than 15 years 

IN 

Instructor 

6-10 years 

TX 

Safety Manager / Industrial Hygienist 

1-5 years 

AZ 

State Trooper 

More than 15 years 

NY 

State Trooper, K9 Handler, Swat Operator 

6-10 years 

OH 

Support Services 

More than 15 years 

MT 

SWAT 

More than 15 years 

IL 

SWAT Commander 

More than 15 years 

MI 

WMD / HAZMAT Specialist 

11-15 years 

CA 


Representatives from Department of Homeland Security - FEMA - Office of 
Preparedness, System Support Division (SSD) 1 , U.S. Army, Edgewood Chemical and 
Biological Center (ECBC), Department of Homeland Security, Office of Science and 
Technology, Office of Infrastructure and Geophysical Department, and the NIJ OST 
attended the focus groups as observers. 


1 Formerly known as “Office of Grants and Training” 


2 










1.4 Focus Group Methodology 


The focus groups were structured. Each addressed a particular need or topic. In each 
discussion, participants were tasked with a specific objective, e.g., to produce a list of 
frequently performed physical activities, etc. As the focus group progressed, these 
objectives built upon outcomes of earlier discussions. 

Participants answered a background questionnaire developed by NSRDEC that included 
questions related to their experience and use of CB equipment, duty uniforms and head 
protection. The questionnaire consisted of quantitative multiple choice, yes/no and 
rating scale questions. Data were analyzed using the Software Package for Social 
Sciences (SPSS), which tabulated summarized results and displayed means and 
frequencies of responses. 

Participants also completed two smaller surveys tailored to specific discussion topics. 
One survey asked participants to prioritize in order, their top five integration concerns for 
PPE. Responses were open-ended, allowing participants to write about any integration 
issue that they felt was important. A similar survey was administered following the duty 
uniform focus group segment, asking participants to list the top five protective needs for 
a duty uniform. 

Data from both of these surveys were analyzed by grouping the responses into categories 
based upon the equipment issue or problem area. 

• Based upon their rankings, responses were given point values from one to five, 
with the highest ranked response receiving five points. 

• A weighted sum score was computed for each category. 

This overall weighted sum score totaled the combined weighted scores of all responses in 
a category and represented the frequency of response and relative ranking. The higher 
the weighted sum score, the greater the importance given to that category by participants. 


1.5 Focus Group Strengths and Limitations 


Focus groups can be an effective tool to: 

• collect attitudinal and experience based qualitative information, 

• identify existing issues or potential problems with respect to products or policies, 
and 

• help generate discussion for new ideas and solutions. 

Another strength of focus groups is witnessing interactions and growth of opinions from 
participants with various stakes in a concept. Through these interactions, researchers 
hope to gain insights into user habits and preferences, which would otherwise be less 
accessible. 


3 



Focus groups can be limited in that they may not produce quantifiable and/or statistically 
significant data, and due to the small number of participants, results should not be 
generalized to a larger community. Also, it should be noted that ideas generated in focus 
groups are the views of individuals who may or may not always agree. Though in some 
cases, the group may reach a consensus; this should not be the expectation. 

Discussion summaries in this report attempt to represent all views expressed, and note 
when differing opinions occur. Finally, due to the nature of focus groups, it can never be 
guaranteed that participants will express their viewpoints on all intended topics or stay to 
a planned agenda. Though the moderator tactfully guided the group and kept the 
discussion on course, participants were not discouraged from speaking their minds or 
raising outside issues they felt were relevant. 


4 



Section 2 - Focus Group Discussion Results 


2.1 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Integration 


Objective: Generate a detailed list of common equipment integration problems and 

ideas for potential solutions. 

Although this focus group dealt with PPE integration, participants discussed aspects of 
CB protection and duty uniform integration. An overarching theme, reiterated several 
times throughout the focus group, was the need for federal standards for law enforcement 
PPE. Table 2 lists integration issues raised by participants during the discussion, along 
with any suggestions mentioned for solving those problems. 


Table 2. Integration Issues Raised by the Participants 


Integration Issue 

Problem Description 

Ballistic / CB PPE Integration 

Plate annor too bulky if worn under CB layer. 
Restricts access to items if worn over CB layer. 
Garments are noisy. Restrict range of motion. 
Headgear chin strap is difficult to use while 
wearing respirator. 

Respirator Straps 

Restrict access to equipment items. 

Radio Access 

Radio/communication gear is inaccessible when 
under CB layer, ballistic vest, or respirator straps. 
Possible Solution: Provide easier access . or 
wireless solution. 

Bomb Suit / Mask interface 

Bomb suit is only compatible with one brand of 
respirator mask. 

Respirator Mask / Weapon Sight 

Difficult to impossible to sight shoulder-fired 
weapon properly while wearing mask. 

Poor stock weld/site picture interface. 

Vehicle Operation 

Cannot sit in vehicle while wearing respirator 
equipment. Respirator tank must be removed. 

Vehicle Storage 

Need to keep in vehicle for quick access, but 
burden to check out multiple items each day. Want 
an all-in-one storage bag. 

Equipment degradation occurs in hot climates 
when stored in vehicles. 


5 



















Table 2. (Cont’d) 


Interagency / Interdepartmental 

Incompatible equipment. Connectors, hose 
fittings, attachments not standard. 

Detection Equipment 

Not suited for tactical environment. 

Designed for fire departments. 

Vehicles lack detection equipment. 

Possible Solution: Equip vehicles with detection 
capabilities. 

Duty Belt 

Too much weight / bulk on hips. 

Lack of space for equipment. 

Leather materials absorb contaminants. 

CB Breathability / Thermal Stress 

Physical sustainability for officers wearing CB 
protective suits limited to as short as 20 minutes 
due to limited respiration. Affects safety, health, 
ability to perform. Possible Solution: Want 
microclimate cooling or similar solution. 


The issue of equipment access was brought up several times, as seen in Table 2 above. 
Participants discussed many situations where their radio equipment is covered up by 
either their ballistic, CB or respiration equipment. In particular, some wanted a wireless 
push-to-talk radio that could be activated externally, allowing them to keep their main 
radio in any location while using some sort of hands-free or remote device. A few 
participants felt that there is definitely a need for this type of equipment and that the 
existing technology is inadequate. 

Participants mentioned problems integrating their ballistic and CB protection, possibly as 
the result of sizing problems with their CB protective ensemble. Some said that it is not 
possible to wear their plate armor either under or over a CB layer. Others said that 
wearing some forms of ballistic protection under a CB layer is possible, but extremely 
restricting. In both cases, access to items is restricted when covered by these systems. 

Participants raised integration considerations related to respiratory protective equipment. 
All of them described having trouble sighting their shoulder-fired weapons while wearing 
CB protective face pieces. Many felt that this impacts their ability to use a shoulder-fired 
weapon effectively. Additionally, some participants said that the most prominent brand 
of bomb suit is only compatible with one form of respirator mask. They felt that this 
incompatibility issue should be resolved by having an equipment standard. 

In talking about vendor issues, some participants felt vendors and manufacturers claim 
they can meet equipment needs, though they may not completely understand those needs. 
Other participants stated that vendors do listen to users to understand user needs, but that 
the technology does not always work as designed. One example of how vendors listen to 
feedback from officers was when officers requested a color change for a piece of 
equipment from orange to black. The vendor complied and, as a result, the item’s sales 


6 









increased significantly. Others thought it was unreasonable to expect vendors to meet 
officers’ needs, unless there are formally recognized standards. 

Some participants also discussed transportation related integration issues. Transportation 
of equipment is an issue, since there are multiple pieces of equipment for which officers 
are responsible. Having a single bag of items that officers could sign out from the 
department, instead of a variety of separate items, would help eliminate the burden. 
Some noted that storing equipment in their vehicle’s trunk leads to premature equipment 
degradation because it can get extremely hot. 

Many participants described the incompatibilities they have when they wear their CB 
PPE in vehicles. In particular, respirator equipment makes it impossible for officers to sit 
in a vehicle, which is a dilemma when they need to arrive at a scene already donned in 
their CB protective gear. Some said that officers take their respirator tanks off, while still 
in use, and place them on the seat next to them, which they noted is a violation of 
regulations, but is the only available option. 

One participant raised the issue of equipment incompatibility from different departments 
or agencies. When multiple departments are involved in a CB incident, their equipment 
is often incompatible, which inhibits equipment interchangeability in necessary 
situations. This is particularly problematic with incompatible hose fittings, connections 
and adapters. Participants agreed that this is a serious problem and an unnecessary 
barrier in emergency situations, but could easily be resolved with a requirement to 
standardize all types of equipment connectors. 

Several issues were identified concerning the leather duty belt for the duty uniform. 
Many participants have problems with equipment items sliding out of place on the belt, 
and stated that nylon belts work better. Participants felt that using a duty belt for the 
majority of their load carriage was an outdated approach considering the lack of space for 
the number of items they need to have accessible. Some felt that a load bearing vest 
would provide more real estate, better accessibility for devices and equipment, and would 
distribute weight better on the body. 

Some participants also thought that their ability to detect and characterize CB threat 
parameters was inadequate, so they must rely on fire departments that do possess this 
ability. They felt that law enforcement should be similarly equipped to be able to 
determine this information on their own. 

All participants agreed that thermal stress placed on officers wearing CB protective gear, 
and the related physical sustainability issues are serious problems adversely impacting 
officers’ effectiveness, health and safety. Some stated that the operational duration in 
this equipment is as short as twenty minutes. They said that newer technology or some 
form of cooling is necessary. 


7 



2.2 Prioritizing Integration Issues - Survey Results 


On a short survey following the group discussion, participants individually listed what 
they considered to be the top five PPE integration issues. Issues were ordered from one 
to five, with one being the most pressing issue, two being the second most pressing, and 
so on. Responses were tallied and categorized into several specific integration areas, 
shown in the table below. A weighted sum score, also in the table below, applies 
different weights to the five ranks to give an overall score representative of the 
participants’ opinions. Also shown is the issue’s frequency and average ranking out of 
those participants who listed it. 


Weighted 


Integration Issue 

Freq. 

Avg Rank 1 

Sum 2 

Sustainability of Wearer 

12 

3.0 

36 

Communications Issues 

8 

2.5 

28 

Lack of a National Standard 

7 

3.0 

22 

Interagency / Interdepartamental Incompatibilities 

4 

2.2 

15 

Dexterity Issues 

3 

1.7 

13 

Difficulty of Donning / Doffing 

4 

3.3 

11 

Poor Visual Acuity 

3 

2.7 

10 

Durabilities Issues 

3 

3.3 

8 

Respirator Interchangability Issues (SCBA/PAPR) 

2 

2.5 

7 

Equipment Integration Problems in CB Ensemble 

2 

3.0 

6 

Inability to Characterize Threats / Validate Protection 

2 

3.0 

6 

Mobility Issues 

3 

4.3 

5 

Accessability of Equipment 

1 

2.0 

4 

Inadequate Equipment Testing 

2 

4.0 

4 

PPE Not Optimized for Regular Use 

1 

2.0 

4 

Difficulties with Decontamination 

1 

3.0 

3 

Equipment Weight 

1 

3.0 

3 

Weapons Sighting / Facemask Integration 

2 

4.5 

3 


1 Participants prioritized issues by ranking them 1 through 5. (1=Most pressing issue) 

2 Weighted sum determinded by applying weight to each rank and computing the sum. 


Weights: 1st=5pts, 2nd=4pts, 3rd=3pts, 4th=2pts, 5th=1pt. 

Greater weighted sum indicates higher group ranking. 

Physical sustainability was the greatest integration concern. All participants listed aspects 
of heat stress or heat exhaustion at least once. 

Communications was also a pressing issue; several participants described difficulties with 
integrating communications equipment into the CB ensemble, as well as radio problems, 
and hearing difficulties when using other equipment. Many participants described the 
lack of a national standard as an underlying cause of other issues. Dexterity, donning, 
doffing, and many other issues were described. A more detailed listing of these issues can 
be found in Appendix C. 


8 




2.3 Chemical / Biological Protection 

This user focus group segment was conducted with a series of focus groups, each one 
having its own specific topic area and objectives. The goals were: 

• to build a framework of criteria for CB protective equipment requirements by 
refining law enforcement roles and activities with respect to CB incident response, 
and 

• to address related equipment needs, issues and standards. 


2.3.1 Law Enforcement (LE) Specific Tasks 

Objective: Participants were shown a list of tasks specific to LE responders. They were 
asked whether the list of tasks was accurate and to provide any additional tasks that 
would be appropriate. 


Table 3. Tasks Reviewed and Suggested by Participants 


Initial List of Tasks 

Participant Added Tasks 

Weapons Proficiency 

Weapon Retention 

Operate Equipment 

Traffic Direction 

Close Quarters Battle 

Crowd Control 

Fire and Movement 

Site Security 

Moving Targets 

Assistance to other Emergency Responders 
Weapons Transition 

CBRNE 2 Sampling, Monitoring 

CBRNE Evidence Collection 

Night / Low Light Engagement 

Self-Defense 

Vehicle Operations 

Suspect Control 

Decontamination 

Communications (face to face) 

Radio Communications 

Rescue 

CB Perimeter Characterization 
Unassisted Equipment Donning 


Participants agreed with all of the above tasks, but commented that CBRNE sampling and 
evidence collection should be two distinct tasks. They were originally presented as a 
combined task. Throughout the discussion, five tasks were added to the list (shown in the 
left column of the table above). Each one will be presented in more detail. 


2 Chemical/Biological/Radiological/Nuclear Emergency 


9 







Several participants responded that communications is critical for LE responders and 
should be included on the task list. Face-to-face communication is often a problem when 
wearing a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) or a self contained breathing 
apparatus (SCBA), particularly when communicating with the public about perimeter 
control issues. Radio communications can also be problematic. 

Participants added rescue as a task, as it applies to hostage or suspect protection. They 
described the problem of being in a CB environment and finding a victim who needs first 
aid. In these cases, victims must be transferred to a non-contaminated environment 
where first aid can be administered. Participants also added that ambulatory and non¬ 
ambulatory rescues involve different activities. The rescue task is intended to address 
these types of situations. 

Characterizing CB threat parameters is an important function that LE personnel need to 
perform. (Previously mentioned in the Integration section of this report.) Responders 
need to know where and when their CB protective gear needs to be donned and doffed, 
since wearing the equipment limits their effectiveness and physical sustainability. 
Participants felt that firefighters already possess threat characterization capability and this 
information can be shared through better communication. 

Participants said that it is nearly impossible for law enforcement officers to don all of 
their CB PPE unassisted. They believed that officers have to be able to dress themselves 
in their protective gear if arriving alone to a contaminated area. To enable this, CB gear 
should be simple to put on. First responders also need access to this equipment in their 
vehicle. Since many officers do not typically have this equipment with them, participants 
felt that a policy needs to be in place to ensure that officers have this gear in their 
vehicles. At the same time, having to sign out several items each day would be 
burdensome to officers; it would be advantageous if all necessary equipment could be 
kept in a single bag (as mentioned in the Integration section of this report). At a 
minimum, every officer needs to have respiratory protection available at all times. 


2.3.2 Mission Role Task Matrix 

Objective: Generate a matrix associating each defined LE specific task to relevant LE 
mission roles. 

Participants were asked to identify all LE specific tasks applicable to each mission role. 
Mission roles are described in Appendix A. Table 4 shows which tasks are identified for 
each role, based on a group consensus. 


10 



Table 4. Mission Role Task Matrix 


Mission Roles 


Tasks 


Fire & Movement 


Self-Defense 


Traffic Direction/ Crowd Control 


Evacuation 


CBRNE Evidence Collection 



Weapons Proficiency 

• 

• 

• 



Operate Equipment 

• 

• 

• 

• 

• 

Close Quarters Battle - tactical situation 

• 

• 

• 



Ground Fighting - hand to hand 

• 

• 

• 




Engage Moving Targets 

• 

• 

• 



Weapons Transition 

• 

• 

• 



Night / Low Light Engagement 

• 

• 

• 




Suspect/Victim Control 

• 

• 

• 



Weapon Retention 

• 

• 

• 





Site Security 

• 

• 

• 

• 

• 

Assistance of Other Responders 

• 

• 

• 

• 

• 

CBRNE Sampling, Monitoring 


• 


• 

• 


Vehicle Operations 

• 

• 

• 

• 

• 

Decontamination (victims, public, LE personnel) 





• 

Decontamination 
(equipment, weapons, vehicle) 





• 


11 


HAZMAT 




























































2.3.3 Law Enforcement Specific Tasks - Integration Issues 


Objective: Identify possible integration issues related to each of the LE specific tasks 
previously defined. 

For each LE specific task, participants were asked to describe any integration issues that 
typically occur relating to that task. In some cases, participants grouped together tasks 
that shared the same types of integration issues. 


LE Specific Tasks 


Related Integration Issues 


Weapons Proficiency 

Weapon Retention 

Operating Equipment 

Close Quarters Battle 

Ground Fighting 

Fire & Movement 

Moving Targets 

Weapons Transition 

Night / Low-Light Engagement 

Self-Defense 

Suspect Detaining 


Dexterity / Tactility 
Weapon Aiming / Sighting 
Weapon Access 
Weapon Clearing / Reloading 
Durability 

Physical Sustainability 
Ability to Communicate 
Visual Acuity 
Auditory Acuity 
Unassisted Equipment Donning 


The main integration issues affecting weapon effectiveness in a CB ensemble were: 

• dexterity, 

• the ability to sight a shoulder-fired weapon, and 

• having quick access to their weapon. 

Wearing gloves makes it difficult to operate their weapon due to bulk, restricted 
movement, and decreased tactility/sensitivity. Achieving a good sight picture while 
aiming a shoulder-fired weapon is difficult because of: the standoff created from the CB 
mask; decreased peripheral vision; perspiring and restricted arm movement. Participants 
felt that increased training is critical in performing the above weapons tasks while 
wearing CB gear. 

Participants were asked to consider the terms “Close Quarters Battle” and “Ground 
Fighting” to decide if these were commonly used and accurate. There was consensus that 
both terms are typically used, with “Close Quarters Battle” involving weapons and 
“Ground Fighting” referring to hand-to-hand combat. 


12 




The lack of real estate on the duty belt hindered weapons’ retention. Participants felt that 
too much load is placed on their waist, adversely affecting weapon retention, and 
increasing susceptibility to lower lumbar injury. 


LE Specific Tasks 

Related Integration Issues 

Traffic Direction ^ 

Communication 

Mobility 

If Self-Identification 


The ability to communicate effectively was the primary concern. Participants also felt 
that an officer’s ability to identify themselves to the public as LE was crucial and 
depended upon the ability to communicate effectively while wearing CB protective 
equipment. 

Several integration considerations were raised related to traffic direction. 

In addition, time required for evacuation and crowd control goes well beyond the length 
of time someone can physically operate in a CB system, and requires continuously 
rotating officers in and out of these positions. 

Some participants felt that traffic direction should take place far from a CB zone; in 
which case, officers would not necessarily be wearing CB protective equipment. Others 
disagreed that this task would always take place outside of a contaminated area and stated 
that CB protective equipment would, therefore be worn. 


LE Specific Tasks Related Integration Issues 

Site Security 

Physical Sustainability 
Monitoring of Individuals 


Some participants mentioned that there are often inner and outer perimeters that need to 
be controlled, and each requires a different type of security. They also added that site 
security is an element of each mission role, though it may mean something different for 
each case. Physical sustainability for officers wearing CB PPE becomes a problem for 
site security. If a perimeter is large, many officers are required to enforce the area. This 
makes it hard to rotate personnel shifts because most available officers would already be 
involved. Participants stressed that the amount of time officers can effectively perform 
while wearing a CB ensemble can be as low as twenty minutes due to physical 
sustainability limitations. They also added that wearing a CB ensemble makes 
monitoring of individuals difficult. 


13 









LE Specific Tasks 

Related Integration Issues 

Assistance to Other Responders ■ < 

Equipment Compatibility 


The primary issue regarding assistance to other responders is the use of incompatible 
equipment among different LE departments and agencies. (See page 8.) 


LE Specific Tasks 

Related Integration Issues 

Evacuation of Victims 

Decontamination of LE Personnel ■« 

Decontamination of Equipment 

Limited Capability 


Most participants stated that LE performs decontamination for its own personnel, while 
fire departments handle decontamination for the public. They felt that LE has a limited 
capability in this area and fire departments are better suited to perform this task. LE 
personnel typically only conduct decontamination efforts when fire department services 
are unavailable or are overwhelmed by decontamination needs. 

Participants felt that decontamination of weapons and equipment is a significant problem. 
Many said that they replace contaminated equipment because they lack the capability to 
decontaminate it effectively. Some added that their departments carry surpluses of 
weapons and equipment, to replace those that get contaminated. 


2.3.4 Mission Role Duration 

Objective: Estimate a possible range for the expected length of time a LE officer would 
need to be protected from a CB threat during each of the mission roles. 

Focus group participants were asked to consider how long officers might be required to 
wear their CB ensemble during each of the five mission roles. They were told that these 
times should represent how long their CB protective gear would need to remain effective. 
Responses varied dramatically based on each participant’s interpretation of a mission role 
type. A consensus was reached, assuming that officers, particularly first responders 
typically perform multiple mission roles as needs dictate. It was also mentioned that the 
CB protective equipment used by officers for each profile may be standardized across 
their department, so it needs to accommodate the longest time required by any wearer. 

Participants felt that it was important to be conservative when estimating duration time. 
They based this on the fact that CB protective capabilities are agent dependant, and also 
affected by temperature, humidity and CB concentration levels. Some said that they 


14 





typically assume that CB protective equipment will only be effective for half as long as is 
specified, to be safe. 


Table 5. Expected Mission Role Durations 


Mission Role 

Duration for CB Protection 

First Responder/Reporter 

8-12 hours 

Perimeter Control 


Tactical Operations 

4 - 6 hours 

Criminal Investigation 

8-12 hours 

HAZMAT 

Could not answer 


Several participants initially felt that first responder duties should require no more than 
60 minutes, based on “recognizing,” “identifying,” “isolating” the situation and 
“notifying” command. However, through further discussion they agreed that after the 
first responder conducts these initial duties, that officer will naturally fall back into a 
perimeter control role as long as they are not injured or contaminated. Once a first 
responder arrives they are likely to be on the scene for the duration of their shift, if not 
longer. The group consensus then became that the duration of these roles should at least 
be an 8-12 hour shift. 

Some commented that it is important that first responder/reporter have the capability to 
quickly and accurately characterize the threat level. The group all agreed that first 
responders/reporters go into situations without knowing the dangers, because that is their 
job. They felt that simple forms of monitoring gear like having CB monitoring 
capabilities in vehicles, as well as training could help protect officers and provide earlier 
information about the nature of threats. 

All in the group agreed that 4-6 hours is a realistic timeframe for tactical operations. 
They said that officers in this role get in and out as fast as possible. They mentioned also 
that heat stress factors are more critical in this role. 

For criminal investigation, participants also felt that an 8-12 hour shift was a realistic 
timeframe, although they felt that a wearer could not be sustained in the current gear for 
that duration. They thought that it would be necessary to rotate personnel shifts in this 
role, but that there are not enough people trained to do the job. In reality, the same 
people would conduct these duties for the duration. 

In terms of the HAZMAT mission role, several participants said fire departments handle 
those duties, and that they believed there is a NFPA standard guiding them. When asked 
if they felt that LE should adopt the NFPA standard, participants felt that LE needs its 
own standard, though they would be willing to adopt the NFPA standard if there was a 
thorough review of it. 


15 




2.3.5 Law Enforcement Specific Physical Activities Discussion 


Objective: Review a proposed list of physical activities, relevant to the LE mission roles 
and offer changes or additions. 

Participants were shown a list of physical activities that responders needed to perform to 
complete the tasks outlined previously and were asked to validate the list’s accuracy by 
adding, removing or changing any activities based on what they felt was important. 

Participants agreed that someone could be expected to do all of the listed activities while 
wearing CB protective gear. Participants added the activities shown in the right column 
of Table 6. 

Table 6. Physical Activities Reviewed and Suggested by Participants 


Original List of Physical Activities 

Participant Added Activities 

Running 

Pushing 

Crawling 

Pulling 

Kneeling 

Writing 

Twisting 

Talking, Responding 

Jumping 

Sitting 

Climbing 

Walking 

Standing Extended Periods 

Drinking / Rehydrating 

Lifting 

Sighting a Weapon 

Laying Prone 

Facial Gesturing (for 

Manual Dexterity 

communicating) 

Hearing Acuity 

Using Keypad / Laptop 

Visual Acuity 



Participants stated that pushing and pulling are tasks criminal investigators typically 
perform. 

Sitting in or driving a vehicle while wearing CB respiration gear posed a significant 
integration issue. (See page 9.) 

Participants stressed drinking or rehydrating is an important need or aspect of physical 
sustainability, which is currently difficult or impossible to do while wearing CB 
protective equipment. 


16 





2.3.6 Law Enforcement Specific Physical Activities - Integration Issues 


Objective: Identify possible integration issues related to each LE specific physical 
activity’ previously defined. 

Based on their responses regarding physical activities, participants were asked to describe 
any types of equipment incompatibilities they experience when performing these actions. 


Physical Activities 

Equipment Conflict 

Writing 

Using Keypad / Laptop 

Dexterity Issues 

Talking, Responding 

Visual Acuity 

Sighting a Weapon 

Facial Gesturing (for communicating) 

Seal of mask can be affected 

Running 

Loose Equipment 

Items Falling Off 


In addition to the above, it was also asked whether improper sizing of CB garments 
results in mobility issues for wearers. Several participants stated that their department has 
custom sized CB garments for each individual. Several said that they would like their 
regular duty boots to be CB protective, claiming that there is a boot product available 
which meets military guidelines, but is not authorized for use by law enforcement. 


2.3.7 Ergonomic Testing Scenario Review 

Objective: Review proposed scenarios for ergonomic testing, specific to three mission 
roles, and offer changes or additions. Perimeter Control, Tactical Operations and 
Criminal Investigation scenarios were reviewed. 

Proposed ergonomic testing scenarios were presented for the perimeter control, tactical 
operations and criminal investigation roles. These scenarios incorporate standardized 
ergonomic testing methods into real world situations that represent LE’s response to a CB 
incident. Participants were asked if these scenarios accurately represented the types of 
activities officers would perform in each situation, and whether they felt that the 
scenarios would fully test the scope of actions that officers might be expected to perform. 

In all cases, participants felt all ergonomic scenarios must include the full scope of an 
officer’s involvement in that mission role, beginning as soon as they arrive on the scene 
with donning equipment, and ending with decontamination and doffing equipment. They 
also stressed the importance of testing the ability to communicate effectively with others, 


17 




in person and over the radio. This requires the ability for all parties who are 
communicating to hear and to be understood. They also commented that any terminology 
used in these scenarios should be the same terms used by civilian law enforcement as 
opposed to military terms. 


Perimeter Control 


Table 7 outlines steps in the ergonomic assessment plan for the perimeter control mission 
role. Comments and additional steps recommended by the participants are listed in the 
right column. 

Table 7. Proposed Ergonomic Scenario for Perimeter Control 


Step Original Scenario Task Participant Additions / Comments 



Don CB gear unassisted. 



Get in vehicle and drive farther away from 
incident scene. (Placement of this step TBD) 

1 

From starting mark, run 50 ft to area to be 
controlled. 


2 

Secure caution tape around one item 
(doorknob, stake, etc) and roll out at least 

10 ft of tape before securing the other end. 
Tape should be approx 4 ft off the ground. 


3 

Run back 50 feet to starting mark. 


4 

Use radio to call command post. Write 
down instructions received via radio from 
command post. 

2 way communication over radio. 

5 

Retrieve notebook and pen. Draw rough 
sketch/map of scene. 


6 

Walk back to caution tape, stepping over a 
guardrail on the way. 


7 

Duck under caution tape and walk 20 ft 
beyond tape to ‘victim’ (dummy). Grab 
dummy under the arms and remove from 
cordoned-off area. 

Change dummy to a real person. 

Ensure two-way verbal communication with 
victim is possible. 

8 

Once in safe area, render first aid to victim 
by wrapping upper arm with bandage. 


9 

Stand up and repair any damage to caution 
tape caused from dragging dummy to safe 
area outside perimeter. 


10 

Walk back (50 ft) to starting area. 


11 

Take out flashlight, turn it on, and pan 
across area beyond caution tape. Stow 
flashlight. 



18 






















Table 7. (Cont’d) 


12 

Draw weapon from holster, hold upward “at 
attention” with two hands for 10 seconds, 
then re-holster weapon securely. 

Remove words “at attention” 

13 

Run approximately 10 ft to other end of 
caution tape. 


14 

Re-draw weapon, aim, speak appropriate 
commands, and simulate firing two shots. 
Remove magazine from weapon, stow it, 
remove new magazine from belt and insert 
new magazine into weapon. Re-holster 
weapon. 




Decon of officer and equipment. 



Doff gear 


Participants felt that upon arrival, the perimeter control officer would need to don their 
CB protective suit and respiratory protection. Many commented that this is a very 
difficult or impossible task for someone to do unassisted with current gear, but that it is a 
necessary capability for someone in this mission role. For this reason, several 
participants felt that a duty uniform with CB protective properties would allow 
officers some level of CB protection at all times. Some added that officers are able to 
don a Level B protective garment without assistance, but not any higher levels. 

Several participants noted that an officer doing perimeter control might be required to 
retreat from an initial perimeter and set up a new perimeter farther away from the 
incident scene. In a realistic event, an officer may need to return to their vehicle and 
drive a certain distance away before proceeding. This task would require accessing keys 
and operating a vehicle successfully. 

For this scenario, participants felt that the dummy victim should be replaced with a real 
person to simulate actual communications. This would require two-way, face-to-face 
communication tasks such as asking the victim for information, responding to this 
information and giving the victim instructions. The victim must also demonstrate they 
heard and understood the communications from the officer. Participants also added a 
radio communication task with incident command requiring a similar form of two-way 
verbal interaction. 


Tactical Operations 

Participants felt this scenario needs to be performed by a team unit. In some cases, 
officers would have different tasks to perform to assist each other or complete objectives. 


19 










Table 8. Proposed Ergonomic Scenario for Tactical Operations 


Original Scenario Task 







Walk sideways along wall for 20 feet, 
stopping at closed door that opens in (away 
from approaching individuals). 


a. Open door from position aside door 
(using door handle/knob). 

(or) 

b. Force open door with ram carried to door 
by subject. 


Toss a “flash bang” grenade into doorway 
from position aside door. 


Wait 10 seconds, then enter doorway with 
weapon drawn and ready, dropping 
immediately to a squatting position. Mock 
aim and fire the weapon. 


Enter area beyond doorway. 




Participant Additions / Comments 


Don CB gear with assistance_ 


Scenario should include a team of 4-8 people 


Climb 6 foot wall, fence, or ladder 


Change to “fortified door”. 

Use explosive breach and ram. 

Make team activity (separate tasks) 
Covert communication between officers. 



Remove: “wait 10 seconds”. 

Enter immediately after detonation. 
Squatting is typically not done during 
tactical activities. 

Use shoulder weapon, transition to a 
holstered secondary weapon, re-holster and 
reload primary weapon. 



Add: multiple room clearings 


stai 




6. 

Speak appropriate verbal commands to 
dummy lying on floor 10 feet inside door, 
while keeping weapon trained on dummy. 

7. 

Approach dummy. 

8. 

Kneel next to dummy. Holster weapon. 

Use handcuffs to restrain the dummy’s arms 
behind its back. 

9. 

Drag dummy out the door by grasping it 
under the arms. 


Have two-way communication between 
team members, both verbal and radio. 


Use real person instead of dummy. 

Add 2-way communication between officer 
and suspect. 


Replace: “handcuffs” with “flex cuffs’ 




Use “grab handle” on back of suit to drag a 
downed officer. 


Decon of officers and equipment. 


Doff gear_ 


20 



























As with perimeter control, participants felt that the tactical operations scenario should 
start with donning a CB protective ensemble. 

In this case, participants said that tactical operations will always be a multiple person 
activity, requiring about 4-8 people. 

In steps related to breaching the door for entry, participants recommended modifications 
to include a fortified door where the team of officers would use an explosive breach or a 
ram to gain entry into the building. The explosive breach task would require fine motor 
skills and cooperation, where officers can perform different tasks to communicate 
covertly with and help each other. The assessment should evaluate the officers’ ability to 
understand covert communications and signaling. 

The group recommended that the officers should be required to switch between their 
shoulder weapon and their holstered weapon, shown in Task 4 above. This would not 
only evaluate accessibility of these weapons, but also identify any integration issues from 
other straps and equipment. 

Participants felt that the officers should move through multiple rooms and floors within 
the building, including entry into a dark or low-light basement to find a potential suspect. 
The team should use radio communications throughout the exercise and demonstrate a 
clear understanding of all transmissions. As with the perimeter control assessment, the 
suspect should be a real person with whom the officers can have some kind of two-way 
verbal communication. 

Additional suggestions were provided regarding the prescribed equipment. Participants 
recommended using flex cuffs, as opposed to hand cuffs. Some felt that officers should 
use hearing protection, to assess any communication difficulties or integration issues of 
using this equipment. As bright displays on electronic equipment can become a target in 
low light tactical situations, the test should use equipment with dim light displays. There 
were also suggestions from participants to use night vision devices in the dark section of 
the building. 


Criminal Investigation 

Participants thought that this scenario (Table 9) would need to be performed by a team of 
officers. They recommended adding several tasks where the officers would assist each 
other to complete objectives. 


21 



Table 9. Proposed Ergonomic Scenario for Criminal Investigation 


Original Scenario Task 





Walk 25 ft to crime scene. On the way, 
subject will step over/around several “X” 
marks on the floor placed 2 ft apart and on 
different sides of the pathway. In addition, a 
narrow hallway will be used as part or all of 
the 25 ft available; If not available a pathway 
will be marked on the floor and the subject 
must walk within the lines. 


Approach a table with a 2-inch square marked 
off at the far side of the table. 





Bend forward as needed to use fingerprint kit 
to powder, dust and tape the print, and then 
remove the tape and secure the print on the 
tape._ 




Move 4 ft to the side, and locate small item 
(e.g., pin from O’Conner test) on floor. Squat 
and pick up item with tweezers. Place item in 
paper bag. Secure paper bag. 


Stand up, move 6 ft further to same side. 
Squat down, retrieve digital camera and take 
photo of “obi'ect” on floor. 




Stand, secure all items collected or used as 
necessary, move 6 ft backwards, then turn 
around and walk back to starting point. 


Participant Additions / Comments 


Don CB gear with assistance. 


Enter in teams of two. 


Push/pull wheeled box of equipment around 
obstacles and through pathway. 





Use a camera to record video of the crime 
scene. Place a measuring device next to 
evidence for relative size in video recording. 


Use proper handling techniques throughout 
scenario. Requires wearing multiple layers 
of gloves, and removing properly to prevent 
cross-contamination. (10-15 pairs of 
gloves)_ 


Photograph fingerprint prior to placing in 
bag. 


Add 2-way radio communication to 
command: What is being picked up and 

how is it being labeled. _ 

One officer labels evidence bag and holds 
open. Second officer picks up item and 
places in bag. Incorporate 2-way verbal 
communication between officers. 




Use atmospheric monitoring equipment to 
monitor and sample CB agents. 




Decontaminate officers and equipment. 


Doff gear 


22 























As with the previous scenarios, participants believed there should be a step to assess 
donning and doffing CB gear. 

Participants added pushing or pulling a wheeled box containing a crime scene kit from 
the staging area to the crime scene. They felt this is a typical task in this scenario, and 
will help to assess mobility. 

Video and photographic recording of the evidence and crime scene were tasks that the 
group thought would require fine motor skills and manual dexterity. Video recording 
should be performed initially to document the scene, and detailed photographs should 
record evidence processing. During the detailed evidence collection, one officer will 
operate the digital camera, while a second officer will place a measurement reference 
next to the pieces of evidence. This would provide a clear reference point for the 
evidence collected. 

Participants stressed the importance of proper handling procedures for criminal 
investigators. They said that at least 15 layers of latex gloves can be worn by 
investigators, to allow for removal of gloves to prevent cross contamination. In this 
scenario, one officer is considered “clean” and one is considered “dirty.” The clean 
officer operates the video equipment and labels bags, while the dirty officer physically 
collects evidence. 

Again, assessing communication was emphasized for this assessment plan. Suggestions 
were made for both radio and verbal two-way interactions between officers and 
command. In this case, one officer will radio command before processing an item. They 
will identify the evidentiary object and label its description on the evidence collection 
bag. 

Participants also added a task to monitor for CB agents while in the contaminated area by 
performing sampling for evidentiary purposes. This task would demand fine motor skills 
and dexterity. 


2.3.8 Current CB PPE Discussion 

Objective: For each participant to describe their current CB equipment and discuss 
what, in their opinion, are its positive and negative features. 

This was a round-robin discussion. Each participant was asked to describe what they 
currently use for CB PPE and to tell the group what they feel are the positive and 
negative aspects associated with the system. Most participants reported having multiple 
CB garments, and the ones being referred to were not always specifically identified. 

Several participants mentioned Tychem™ garments. Positive comments were that they 
are inexpensive, easy to don and provide relatively good functionality for the cost. 


23 



Complaints about the suits were that they are noisy to wear, sometimes uncomfortable 
and designed primarily for the chemical industry. 

Tyvek™ garments were also discussed by many participants. Some liked the material, 
adding that it is thin and meets their needs. One negative issue raised by a participant 
was that the garment’s hood can restrain movement. 

Participants also discussed Saratoga™ suits. There were many positive comments about 
the garment, including good mobility and a general liking. Some negative comments 
were that it can be hard to don, and is somewhat thick. One participant mentioned that it 
protects against vapor threats but not liquid threats. 

A few participants mentioned using Nomex™ CB suits. They felt that these suits were 
inappropriate for law enforcement, adding that they provide flash protection, which is not 
needed by LE and adds excess weight and stiffness. 

In general, participants mentioned several times that their garments were not designed to 
meet LE’s needs, and as a result, either lack necessary capabilities or provide capabilities 
that are not needed. Heat stress was mentioned by all participants as a significant 
negative aspect that results from wearing any of the CB garments mentioned. They felt 
that heat stress dramatically affects the wearer’s physical sustainability, safety, and 
effectiveness. 


2.4 Duty Uniform Discussion 


Objective: Discuss if there is a need for a federal duty> uniform standard, and identify a 
list of needs for a new duty uniform. 

Participants discussed: whether a federal standard for duty uniforms is needed; various 
protective and functional needs for duty uniforms, and problems they experience with 
their current uniforms. 

Participants were asked to brainstorm a list of needs/capabilities for a new duty uniform, 
including aspects of protection, wearability, appearance, and any other properties they 
felt were important. Table 10 summarizes the needs identified by participants. 


24 



Table 10. Duty Uniform Needs Suggested by Participants 


Duty Uniform Needs 

Moderate level of integrated CB protection 
Protection from blood borne pathogens / body fluids 
Some level of ballistic protection 
Puncture/Stab protection 
Flame protection (non-melting) 

Sun/UV protection 

Ability to decontaminate uniform 

Measurable lifecycle / Measurable Protection Effectiveness 

Durable 

Lightweight 

Breathable 

Comfortable for daily wear 
Launderability / Stain Resistance 
Professional “Law Enforcement” appearance 
Specific protection standards 
Reflectivity 


Most participants felt that the duty uniform should incorporate a minimum amount of CB 
protection for instances when officers respond to an incident with an unknown CB threat. 
They were concerned particularly about physical contact with CB substances and blood 
borne pathogens in the form of body fluids, which could be absorbed into their uniform 
material. 

Ballistic protection was also discussed. Participants stressed that it should not 
compromise the comfort, wearability or breathability of the uniform. Several participants 
commented that they have experienced problems with protective equipment affecting the 
wearer’s comfort in the uniform. They also mentioned puncture resistance, with one 
participant describing a currently available puncture resistant fabric that is very thin. 

The issue of uniform appearance was also raised by several participants who felt that 
departments may be resistant to change due to traditions and the need to present a unique 
identity. One participant commented that their department’s unifonn committee places 
such a high importance on appearance that they never address uniform functionality. 
Many participants felt that appearance of the uniform is significant due to cultural and 
generational differences between younger and older officers. Older officers are 
described as preferring consistency and a display of authority, while younger officers 
place more importance on performance and functionality. Participants acknowledged 
that the culture is shifting towards the newer philosophy over time as a result of active 
younger officers on uniform boards and successful uniform wear testing. 

Participants agreed that performance and functionality should be the focus; however 
appearance cannot be ignored. If new styles are adopted, it is important that they 


25 




maintain an image unique to law enforcement. Several participants felt that it is 
important for officers to “look like a cop, not a security guard.” Some discussed the 
belief that a sloppier looking officer is more likely to be engaged violently than a 
“squared away” looking officer, due possibly to psychological effects. Participants 
agreed that whether this effect is real or not, it is important for officers to have a good 
appearance. Another aspect important to both functionality and appearance that 
participants raised is for the uniform to be easy to care for and stain resistant. 

For several participants, individual officers in their departments purchase their own 
uniforms using a clothing allowance. They are allowed to choose from a set of approved 
uniform items, and may opt for more or less expensive versions. Some felt that most 
officers “just want stuff that looks cool,” and will base which unifonn items they 
purchase on that. Other participants said that their departments make all uniform 
purchases and provide money to officers for cleaning. 

In discussing the concept of CB protection, several participants were concerned about 
how effective the protection would be after time and multiple launderings. Some 
participants felt that this would shorten the lifecycle of the unifonns, increasing the 
replacement rate and affecting uniform funding aspects. Additionally, the individual 
officer needs to be able to measure if the CB protection of the garment is maintained, as 
opposed to a third party in their department. A few participants then raised the concept 
of placing time limits on the life spans of duty uniforms. This would be established by a 
uniform standard and would let departments know how long uniforms were expected to 
maintain CB protection levels. Some participants felt that this would mean higher costs 
for officers. Other participants believed that if a federal standard for uniform life cycles 
existed, then departments would be able to budget for replacements up front. This would 
require additional funding, but these participants believed that a standard should help 
establish additional federal funding for this purpose. 

Participants were asked if a duty uniform should have some kind of knee or elbow 
padding. Some preferred modular pads. Others thought that the unifonn should have 
some kind of functional reinforcement in those areas, but not as thick as typical pads. 

Reflectivity concerns were also discussed. Participants mentioned instances when 
officers need to be easily seen, such as a dark highway and instances when they need to 
be concealed. One participant proposed built-in reflector straps that can be rolled up or 
down. 

Some integration issues specific to the duty uniform were discussed. As a whole, 
participants complained about the current duty belt system putting too much weight on 
the waist, and the need for an ergonomic design. (See pages 8 and 14.) A few 
participants also mentioned that they would like a Velcro system for carrying items that 
would allow for easier access. 

Another significant issue raised by participants dealt with radio communications. Feeling 
that the radio is too bulky and heavy for the belt, they felt there needs to be better 


26 



technology to produce a radio that’s easier to carry as well as use. Some commented that 
radio size is dictated by battery size, which must conform to standards for radio duration. 
A few participants said they would like a hands free feature for their radios, which would 
allow them to use something such as a wireless earpiece. 

There were also suggestions to incorporate GPS into a radio, or otherwise provide the 
capability for locating an officer’s position. They felt that this is an important capability 
to have in situations where officers are injured and unconscious. One participant 
mentioned that his department has vehicle locators in all their vehicles. Adoption of this 
technology was initially met with resistance from the union, in some part out of fear of 
complications regarding privacy issues and internal affairs investigations. However, 
eventually the technology was accepted as it was shown to not only help departments 
operate, but also to verify officers’ claims and produce a more efficient internal affairs 
process. 


2.4.1 Current Duty Uniform Discussion 

Objective: For each participant to individually describe their current duty uniform and 
discuss what, in their opinion, are the positive and negative features of it. 

Similar to the discussion of current CB PPE, this discussion was conducted as a round- 
robin where each of the participants individually described what they currently wear for 
their duty uniform. They were asked to describe their likes, dislikes, and areas for 
improvement. In many cases the types of uniforms being referred to were not 
specifically identified. 

Some of their positive comments reflected generally good functionality of the uniforms 
and a lack of any major problems. One stated that they value functionality over all else, 
adding that “it does the job.” This was also evident in comments about the durability and 
ability to easily care for the uniforms. Some said that the amount of wear and tear was 
acceptable and not a significant issue that warranted concern. Appearance was also 
mentioned a few times as a positive aspect. 

A few participants, however, felt that that their uniforms addressed appearance over 
functionality. One participant said that the winter uniform in their department is steeped 
in tradition and looks great, but is not practical. A few others mentioned comfort issues 
in certain circumstances, such as rain or hot weather. Also, some participants complained 
about having “dry clean only” uniforms and the associated costs for officers. 


27 



2.4.2 Duty Uniform Protection Needs - Survey Results 


Participants were given another short survey, to list what they considered to be the top 
five protection needs for a duty uniform. As with the integration survey, the participants 
were asked to order their issues from one to five, with one being the greatest protection 
need, two being the second greatest need, and so on. These responses were tallied into 
several specific protection categories, shown in the following table. A weighted sum 
score is shown in the table below which applies different weights to the five ranks to give 
an overall score representative of the participants’ opinions. Also shown is the frequency 
and average ranking for each protection need. This survey was completed by ten of the 
total eleven participants. 

Weighted 


Protection Need 

Freq. 

Avg Rank 1 

Sum 2 

Ballistic Protection 

6 

1.5 

27 

CB Protection 

10 

3.4 

26 

Blood, Fluid, Pathogens 

5 

2.2 

19 

Durability 

6 

3.0 

18 

Cut/Puncture Protection 

3 

1.7 

13 

Functionality 

3 

1.7 

13 

Comfort / Fit 

4 

4.0 

8 

Environmental Protection 

3 

3.3 

8 

Thermal Comfort 

4 

4.0 

8 

Appearance 

4 

4.3 

7 

Flame / Flash protection 

2 

2.5 

7 

Personal Location 

1 

4.0 

2 


1 Participants prioritized needs by ranking them 1 through 5. (1 = Greatest Need) 


2 Weighted sum determinded by applying weight to each rank and computing the sum. 

Weights: 1st=5pts, 2nd=4pts, 3rd=3pts, 4th=2pts, 5th=1pt. 

Greater weighted sum indicates higher group ranking. 

Overall, ballistic protection and CB protection were identified as the greatest protection 
needs for any new duty uniform. Ballistic protection received the highest average 
ranking by just over half of the group, while CB protection was listed by all of 
participants. Also, protection against blood borne pathogens was shown to be highly 
important for half of the participants. Other specific protective needs, as well as other 
uniform features such as comfort, appearance, durability, and functionality were also 
included. A more detailed summary of these protective needs can be found in Appendix 
D. 

2.5 Summarizing Discussion 


Participants ended the focus group discussion by emphasizing the need for a federal set of 
standards for law enforcement equipment. All participants felt that this is an absolute 
necessity. 


28 




They wanted to make clear that the standards not only need to be established, but 
enforced, with proper support throughout the law enforcement system. This scope 
included an overarching body to create and continually review the standards, as well as 
ensure they are met with compliance in departmental processes, agency interoperability, 
and manufacturer compliance in product standards and testing. 

More specifically, participants felt that different sets of standards may need to be 
established for different needs. With respect to the duty uniform, participants thought 
that one overall standard would not work for all officers who wear a duty uniform. For 
instance, standards for an administrative officer’s or bike officer’s duty uniform may 
need to be different from those of everyday patrol officer’s. 

Finally, several participants expressed gratitude for the opportunity to share their 
opinions and discuss issues important to them. Many said that they learned a good deal 
from speaking with their participant colleagues from around the country, and were 
looking forward to sharing this information with others in their departments when they 
returned home. 


Section 3 - Conclusions 

More than half of the participants had 15 or more years of law enforcement experience. 
Job duties varied between office work, day-to-day operations, or tactical and specialized 
functions. Also, some participants said they respond to CB incidents often, while for 
others it was much less frequent. (Several survey questions addressed the individuals’ 
experience, job duties, PPE usage, and duty uniform wear. A complete summary of the 
participant information survey results can be found in Appendix E.) 

An overarching theme emerged from this LEAP User focus group, relevant to all topic 
areas: the participants were concerned about the lack of a national set of standards for 
equipment requirements specific to the law enforcement community. In both the survey 
and the discussions, they felt that the standards created for the fire community do not 
adequately address the unique needs of law enforcement first responder/reporter, 
perimeter control, tactical operations, criminal investigations, and HAZMAT operations. 
Participants cited examples and reasons of how the lack of a national set of standards 
limits their effectiveness and causes inefficiencies in their operations. Participants also 
felt that the organization or body that creates any national set of standards would need to 
work cooperatively with various stakeholder organizations in establishing the standards 
to ensure that they are met. 


29 



3.1 PPE Integration 


During the PPE integration discussion, participants described several typical integration 
problems they experience with their equipment. Most integration issues discussed 
involved restricted equipment access due to obstruction or concealment by other gear. 
Radio access is particularly problematic. Participants also said that there are problems 
wearing plate armor with a CB ensemble due to bulk and restrictiveness. Further, when 
participants wear respirator masks, they have trouble sighting a shoulder fired weapon. 
Also, interagency equipment incompatibilities exist, which participants believe could be 
resolved by standardization. 

Physical sustainability of officers in CB ensembles ranked highest throughout the focus 
group discussions and on the short survey for PPE Integration. Communications issues 
ranked second highest, and the lack of a national standard for law enforcement protective 
equipment ranked third. Difficulties with dexterity, donning, doffing, visual acuity, and 
accessibility were also identified, echoing comments made throughout the focus group 
discussions. 

3.2 Chemical/Biological Protection 

In the CB protection discussion, the participants discussed the proposed mission roles, 
relevant activities for law enforcement, and related integration issues. They felt that 
physical sustainability of equipment wearers, communication, mobility, donning/doffing 
and weapons integration issues greatly impacted their ability to perform effectively and 
for extended periods of time in a CB environment. In particular, heat stress and 
respiratory sustainability while wearing CB protective equipment were brought up 
several times as safety issues and a major limiting factors in officers’ abilities to perform 
their duties. 

Participants also debated the exact nature of the roles officers would have during a CB 
incident. They lacked agreement regarding the distinction between first 
responder/reporter and perimeter control mission roles in both the discussions and the 
surveys. Most participants felt that perimeter control and criminal investigation would 
last approximately one shift and tactical duties require slightly less time. They also 
disagreed regarding the role of law enforcement in HAZMAT operations; some 
participants felt this was the responsibility of fire services. 

Participants were presented with potential scenarios for evaluating human factor issues 
resulting from wearing CB protective equipment in the three mission roles. They were 
asked whether the steps described accurately represented the scope of tasks officers 
would perform in each scenario, and to add any additional steps they felt would add to 
testing or remove any which were not appropriate. In all three scenarios, participants 
added steps to incorporate donning and doffing equipment. They also added steps to test 
the ability to communicate effectively verbally, over radio, and through gestures. 


30 



Participants rated the average durability rating of their CB ensembles as “Slightly Good,” 
with tearing and abrasion identified as the most common issues they experience. See 
Appendix E, question 19, for more information related to protective garments currently 
used by the participants. 

3.3 Duty Uniform 

In addition to standards for equipment, participants also wanted a federal duty uniform 
standard and they described several features that a new uniform should incorporate. For 
example, participants wanted some minimal level of protection against chemical, 
biological, and blood borne pathogen threats, to protect officers who must respond to 
incidents without knowledge of these dangers or any form of protection against them. 
Comfort and functionality were also critical issues. They stated that officers and 
departments are deeply concerned with uniform appearance. 

They mentioned several factors that are important to the officer community that could be 
potential challenges in adopting a new standard. These included maintaining tradition 
and unique department identities, and projecting an image of authority. They noted that 
attitudes in the LE community are shifting towards more functional designs for duty 
uniforms. 

On the questionnaire, participants responded that a new duty uniform design should 
incorporate some level of CB protection. They also identified protection against 
ballistics, blood, fluid, and pathogens as significant needs. They noted good durability, 
functionality, and comfort among several other factors a new duty uniform should have, 
and all responded that a duty uniform standard is needed. 

Half of the group said that the source of funding would affect their purchase of a unifonn. 
Most said that they replace their duty uniforms fewer than once a year, and that their 
unifonns are paid for by departmental funding. Abrasion and fading were identified as 
the most common durability problems. On average, durability of their duty uniforms was 
rated as being “Slightly” to “Moderately Good.” 


This document reports research undertaken at the 
U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and 
Engineering Center, Natick, MA., and has been 
assigned No. Natick/TR-07/021 in a 
series of reports approved for publication. 


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32 



Appendix A - Descriptions of Mission Roles 


First Responder/Reporter. 

This is typically the first LE officer at the scene who discovers the actual incident and/or 
reports back to command with details. The first responder/reporter is most likely to 
happen upon the incident inadvertently and either discover contaminated citizens or be 
contaminated themselves. Limited training and overall awareness are contributing 
factors. The most important action that the first responder/reporter can take is to protect 
his/her respiratory functions, retreat from the situation, and report back to command. 
Protection requirements could be limited to respiratory protection, such as an escape 
mask or air-purifying respirator (APR), for safe evacuation. Once the first 
responder/reporter calls in the incident, the officer is expected to retreat and await 
backup. Backup personnel who respond will fall under one of the remaining four mission 
roles. 

Perimeter Control: 

The perimeter control LE officer is responsible for ensuring that the overall situation is 
contained to eliminate the accidental exposure of persons in the vicinity. Order around 
the hot zone involves establishing a perimeter at the cold/warm zone line and then 
shifting the focus toward containing the situation. Containment could include, but is not 
limited to, the following tasks: 

• Crowd disturbance and riot control 

• Self defense and suspect control 

• Vicinity patrol and security (e.g., regulating entry into and egress out of the hot 
zone) 

• Lethal and non-lethal weapons handling 

• Planning and communications 

• Traffic direction 

• Assisting other emergency responders 

• Vehicle operation 

• Physical mobility to contain a shifting threat 

While engaged in these activities, perimeter control personnel could be exposed to off¬ 
gassing, liquid transference from other individuals, blood borne pathogens, and the like. 
Protection requirements for this mission role can include such equipment as an air 
purifying respirator (APR), a CB garment, gloves and footwear. The CB-protective 
ensemble must enable perimeter control personnel to complete their tasks safely and 
effectively by providing an ensemble that also resists cut and puncture, maximizes the 
range of motion and field of view, and provides dexterity and tactility. 


33 



Tactical Operations: 

During a CB incident, tactical units are called upon when needed to neutralize a situation 
within the warm or hot zones. A situation could involve alleviating a threat, 
apprehending a suspect, rescuing a hostage or locating a potential secondary device. 
Tasks associated with such tactical operations include, but are not limited to, the 
following: 

• Dynamic entry 

• Clearings and evacuations 

• Confined space operations (e.g., close quarters battle) 

• Self defense and suspect control 

• Rescue missions 

• Vehicle assault 

• Planning and communications 

• Vicinity patrol and security 

• Weapons handling 

• Night and low light engagements 

Tactical units are required to enter the contaminated area and perform all functions that a 
tactical team without a full CB-ensemble would carry out. As such, this mission role 
requires high levels of personnel and equipment protection (e.g., ballistic protection for 
self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) compressed air tanks), while satisfying high 
mobility, agility, and tactility needs. Covertness of the CB ensemble materials (e.g., 
color, noise) and equipment utilized (e.g., audible warnings) is also a concern. 

Criminal Investigation: 

Once the vicinity has been secured but prior to HAZMAT clean-up, a crime scene 
investigation may ensue to probe the scene and collect evidence. Tasks associated with 
criminal investigation include, but are not limited to, the following: 

• Evidence collection 

• Sampling and monitoring 

• Fine motor skills work (e.g., writing, fingerprinting, photographing, operating 
sampling equipment) 

• Confined space activities 

• Kneeling, crawling, bending, and lifting 

The tasks associated with this mission role require high levels of personnel and 
equipment protection (e.g., puncture propagation tear resistance, burst strength) in 
conjunction with medium mobility and fine motor control. To complete their tasks safely 
and effectively, criminal investigators will require full body coverage in the form of a CB 
ensemble, SCBA, gloves (potentially multi-layered) and footwear. 


34 




HAZMAT: 


HAZMAT teams are primarily responsible for clean-up and decontamination of the hot 
zone, but they also administer first aid. Tasks associated with this mission role require 
high levels of exposure protection in conjunction with potentially fine motor control. 
HAZMAT personnel require similar protection to that outlined in the NFPA standards, 
namely protection against high concentrations of vapor and liquid. Equipment 
requirements include a CB garment with protective hood and integrated visor, SCBA, 
gloves and footwear. Because the HAZMAT mission role for LE is very similar to fire 
fighter HAZMAT operations, the LE HAZMAT requirements and protection levels 
should align with those outlined in the NFPA standards. 


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36 



Appendix B - Ergonomic Scenario Descriptions 

The following tasks/scenarios are proposed as evaluation items, to be used as timed tasks 
for gauging performance of the CB protective suits. The following assumptions underlie 
the tasks: 

• Equipment mentioned is carried/can be carried within the suits by the LE 
personnel who would execute the tasks. Items should be logical and expected to 
be used for the particular task. 

• Task order may need to be adjusted based on where and when the evaluation 
would take place (e.g., which building, outdoors/indoors, etc.), or to improve the 
scenario’s flow. 

• Distances can be lengthened or shortened as needed. 

• The equipment is available during the evaluation. 

• Before any tasks are finalized, a dry run is needed to ensure that tasks can be 
completed in a reasonable amount of time, without causing undue stress on the 
subjects wearing CB ensembles and masks. 

All of these tasks were chosen with the intention that they can be easily learned by non¬ 
law enforcement test participants. 

Mission: Perimeter Control 

• Items carried/wom: roll of caution tape, radio (with speaker-microphone), first 
aid kit (or placed nearby), small notebook, pen or pencil, flashlight, weapon and 
holster (9mm or other handgun assumed). 

• Tasks 

1. From starting mark, run 50 feet to area to be controlled. 

2. Secure caution tape around one item (doorknob, stake, etc) and roll out at 
least 10 ft of tape before securing the other end. Tape should be approx 4 
ft off the ground. 

3. Run back 50 feet to starting mark. 

4. Use radio to call command post. Write down instructions received via 
radio from command post. 

5. Retrieve notebook and pen. Draw rough sketch/map of scene. 

6. Walk back to caution tape, stepping over a guardrail on the way. 

7. Duck under caution tape and walk 20 ft beyond tape to ‘victim’ (dummy). 
Grab dummy under the arms and remove from cordoned-off area. 

8. Once in safe area, render first aid to victim by wrapping upper arm with 
bandage. 

9. Stand up and repair any damage to caution tape caused from dragging 
dummy to safe area outside perimeter. 

10. Walk back (50 ft) to starting area. 

11. Take out flashlight, turn it on, and pan across area beyond caution tape. 
Stow flashlight. 

12. Draw weapon from holster, hold upward “at attention” with two hands for 
10 seconds, then re-holster weapon securely. 


37 



13. Run approximately 10 ft to other end of caution tape. 

14. Re-draw weapon, aim, speak appropriate commands, and simulate firing 
two shots. Remove magazine from weapon, stow it, remove new 
magazine from belt and insert new magazine into weapon. Re-holster 
weapon. 


Mission: Tactical Operations 

• Items carried/wom: appropriate weapon, mock “flash-bang” grenade, handcuffs, 
grappling-type hook with approximately 25 feet of strong rope attached to the 
hook (optional), ram (optional). 

• Tasks: 

1. Walk sideways along wall for 20 feet, stopping at closed door that opens 
in (away from approaching individuals). 

2. At this point, one of two options can be used (options allow actual 
removal/damage to the door if allowed during testing): 

o a. Open door from position aside door (using door handle/knob), 
o b. Force open door with ram carried to door by subject. 

3. Toss a “flash bang” grenade into doorway from position aside door. 

4. Wait 10 seconds, then enter doorway with weapon drawn and ready, 
dropping immediately to a squatting position. Mock aim and fire the 
weapon. 

5. Enter area beyond doorway. 

6. Speak appropriate verbal commands to dummy lying on floor 10 feet 
inside door, while keeping weapon trained on dummy. 

7. Approach dummy. 

8. Kneel next to dummy. Holster weapon. Use handcuffs to restrain the 
dummy’s arms behind its back. 

9. Drag dummy out the door by grasping it under the arms. 


Mission: Criminal Investigation 

• Items carried/wom: paper bag, tweezers, digital camera, fingerprint kit (brush, 
powder, tape) 

• Tasks: 

1. Walk 25 ft to crime scene. On the way, subject will step over/around 
several “X” marks on the floor placed 2 ft apart and on different sides of 
the pathway. In addition, a narrow hallway will be used as part or all of 
the 25 ft available; If not available a pathway will be marked on the floor 
and the subject must walk within the lines. 

2. Approach a table with a 2-inch square marked off at the far side of the 
table. 

3. Bend forward as needed to use fingerprint kit to powder, dust and tape the 
print, and then remove the tape and secure the print on the tape. 


38 



4. Move 4 ft to the side, and locate small item (e.g., pin from O’Conner test) 
on floor. Squat and pick up item with tweezers. Place item in paper bag. 
Secure paper bag. 

5. Stand up, move 6 ft further to same side. Squat down, retrieve digital 
camera and take photo of “object” on floor. 

6. Stand, secure all items collected or used as necessary, move 6 ft 
backwards, then turn around and walk back to starting point. 


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40 



Appendix C - Integration Issues Survey Results 


The following tables show in verbatim the actual prioritized integration issues written by 
each participant on the integration survey. They are ordered by category, and the ranks 
shown represent the issue’s ranking determined by that participant. 


rank 

Physical Sustainability of Wearer 

1 

sustainability - heat stress 

1 

sustainability 

1 

most frequent activities cause heat stress 

2 

heat stress 

2 

heat stress 

2 

heat exhaustion 

3 

sustainability of wearer 

4 

heat stress 

5 

heat stress 

5 

sustainability 

5 

heat stress 

5 

inability to hydrate through mask while in cb environment 


rank 

Communications Issues 

1 

communications difficult in CB 

1 

communications not well integrated into CB 

2 

communications radio/voice 

2 

hearing acuity 

3 

communication 

3 

communication voice/radio 

4 

communication - verbal/radio 

4 

integration of communications into PAPR/SCBA 


rank Lack of National Standard _ 

1 non existing set of requirements for PPE characteristics 
1 lack of national standards for LE 

3 no nationwide standard hinders integration 

4 refocus design for LE equipment from fire to cops. 

4 inconsistent mission training across agencies 

5 _ terminology / language differences across agencies 


rank Interagency / Interdepartmental Incompatibilities 

1 interagency incompatibility of equipment 

1 interoperability between all brands of equipment 

2 interagency incompatibility of comms 

3 interoperability between brands of equipment 

4 _ interagency incompatibility of equipment _ 


41 











42 

















rank 

Accessibility of Equipment 

2 

access to equipment 


rank Inadequate Equipment Testing _ 

need effective testing to test protection of all gear, interfaces, closures in live 
3 environment 

5 _ review of existing testing results on CB protection from military _ 


rank 

PPE Not Optimized For Daily Use 

2 

PPE needs to be optimized for regular, day to day operations 


rank 

Difficulties with Decontamination 

3 

decontamination of weapons / electronics 


rank 

Equipment Weight 

3 

weight of equipment 


rank Weapon Sighting / Facemask Integration 

4 mask / sight picture 

5 _ face piece to sight picture issue _ 


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44 



Appendix D - Duty Uniform Protective Needs Survey 

Results 


The following tables show the actual prioritized protection needs written by each 
participant on the duty uniform needs survey. These needs are ordered by category, and 
the ranks shown represent the need’s ranking determined by that participant. 


rank 

Ballistic Protection 

1 

Ballistic Protection 

1 

Bullet resistance / cut / puncture resistance 

1 

Ballistic Protection 

1 

Ballistic and puncture protection 

2 

Ballistic protection 

3 

ballistic 


rank CB Protection _ 

Semi-permeable garment, w/ sheeting properties, which would allow officers to escape from a 

1 recognized chem environment. Integrated ability to seal neck, arm, leg openings 

2 petroleum based chemicals 

3 Blood borne pathogen / Chem bio resistance 

3 acid based chemicals 

3 Chem Bio Protection 

4 some protection from various chemical hazards 

4 chem bio protection 

4 airborne irritants from chemical spills or explosions 

5 cb protection 

5 powder (anthrax style) - high risk agents _ 


rank Blood, Fluid, Pathogens _ 

1 Bodily fluid protection / pathogens / spitting, urine, blood 

2 Blood, sweat, suspect body fluids 

2 Protection from blood borne pathogens 

3 Blood borne pathogen / Chem bio resistance 

3 CB - BSI (Body Substance Isolation) _ 


rank Durability _ 

2 Protection from Abrasion, cuts, tears 

2 Durability / Abrasion / Cut Resistance 

3 durability 

3 durability 

4 durability 

4 Laundering Capable Longevity _ 


45 













3 heat / comfort / moisture wicking 

4 breathability 

4 Thermal protection / reduction of heat stress / solar protection / ease for cooling of core temp 



2 uniformity 

5 comfortable / professional appearance 

5 appearance 

5 Color Choices 


rank Flame / Flash Protection 

2 flash protection 

3 flame retardant 



46 


















Appendix E - Participant Information Survey Results 


The following tables summarize the responses on the participant background 
questionnaire. The term “frequency” refers to the number of times a particular answer 
was given. Percents are shown. In cases where participants did not answer a question, 
percentages are based only on the number of participants who provided a response. For 
those cases when a participant’s desired response was not available to choose from, they 
were encouraged to provide their response in a write-in area for that question. These 
responses are listed verbatim in supplemental tables for each question, if necessary. 

Of the eleven members of the focus group one member was female and the rest were 
male. Slightly more than half the group was from local law enforcement, with four 
representing state agencies and one from a federal agency. Years of experience varied, 
but more than half the group said they have more than fifteen years of experience in law 
enforcement. Two members had between one and five years. 

1. What is your gender? 


Gender 



Frequency 

Percent 

female 

1 

9.1 

male 

10 

90.9 

Total 

11 

100.0 


2. What type of agency do you work for? 


Agency Type 



Frequency 

Percent 

federal 

1 

9.1 

local 

6 

54.5 

state 

4 

36.4 

Total 

11 

100.0 


47 




3. How many years of law enforcement experience do you have? 


Years of Experience 




Percent 

1-5 Years 

2 

18.2 

6-10 Years 

2 

18.2 

11-15 Years 

1 

9.1 

>15 Years 

6 

54.5 

Total 

11 

100.0 


The group represented a variety of job functions, which were somewhat equally split 
between day-to-day operations, office work, or tactical/specialized duties. Some 
additional duties added by participants included a mix of these, and also training and lab 
duties among others. 

4. What is your primary job function? 


Job Function 




Percent 

Day to day field operations 

2 

18.2 

Office / Headquarters 

2 

18.2 

Tactical / Specialized 

3 

27.3 

Other 

4 

36.4 

Total 

11 

100.0 


Job Function (cont.) - others listed 

crime lab 
exec officer 
field ops 
hazmat 
instructor 

investigations, some tactical 
lab 

tactical, training, field 


48 













Participants were asked to indicate if each of the five mission roles accurately describes 
how law enforcement would respond to a WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction) incident. 
Almost all or all participants indicated that every mission role, with the exception of 
HAZMAT accurately describes law enforcement’s role. During the focus groups some 
participants said that their departments typically do not handle any HAZMAT activities. 

5. Which of the following mission profiles describe how law enforcement would respond to a 
WMD incident? 


CB Misison Profiles 



Freq. 

First Responder / Reporter 

10 

Perimeter Control 

11 

Tactical Operations 

11 

Criminal Investigation 


HAZMAT 



The next question asked participants to indicate the minimum number of hours that they 
would need to be protected in a CB environment, based on the mission roles of perimeter 
control, tactical operations, and criminal investigation. From the focus group discussions 
participants agreed that for perimeter control and criminal investigation the time should 
be at least one shift, or around 8-10 hours. Here most respond similarly, with the 
majority indicating 6-12 hours and some indicating longer for those roles. For Tactical 
Operations most participants chose 1-6 hours which is consistent with their discussions, 
in which many felt that these operations are conducted as fast as possible. 

6. What is the minimum number of hours that your CB system would typically need to provide 
protection in the following mission profiles? 


Minimum Hours - Perimeter Control 




Percent 

6-12 hours 

9 

81.8 

>12 hours 

2 

18.2 

Total 

11 

100.0 


Minimum Hours - Tactical Operations 




Percent 

<1 hour 

1 

9.1 

1-6 hours 

8 

72.7 

6-12 hours 

2 

18.2 

Total 

11 

100.0 


49 



















Minimum Hours - Criminal Investigation 




Percent 

6-12 hours 

9 

81.8 

>12 hours 

2 

18.2 

Total 

11 

100.0 


When asked how often they respond to potential CBRNE incidents, answers were varied, 
but the greatest percentage of participants said typically less than once a year. At least 
one participant said they respond once or more a month. Some also included frequent 
training. 


7. How often do you respond to a potential CB incident? 


How often do you respond to a potential CBRNE incident? 




Percent 

Once a month 

1 

9.1 

Approximately 4 times a year 

3 

27.3 

Less than once a year 

5 

45.5 

other 

2 

18.2 

Total 

11 

100.0 

How often do you respond (cont.) - others listed 


>25 per year. Clandestine meth labs 
Bomb threats-not CB 
Train monthly 
Train responders 


Participants described the CB garments that they typically wear. Many included more 
than one type of garment. 


50 

















8. Please provide product information on the CB garment!suit you typically utilize? 


CB Garments used by partipants 




Dupont CPF3 

3 

Kappler CPF 

1 

Lion Apparel MT94 

2 

Saratoga 

1 

Trellchem VPS (level A) 

1 

Tychem F 

2 

Tychem SL 

4 

Tyvek F 

5 


Most participants said that they wear their undershirt and shorts under their CB ensemble 
while a few did not, and slightly more than half the group said they wear a duty uniform 
under their CB gear. For the duty belt, eight of the members said that they wear it over 
their CB ensemble. No one said that they wear it underneath. Responses were similar for 
weapon and holster, with one participant saying that they carry it under CB gear. Body 
armor, the responses showed, is more typically worn under CB gear than over it. 


9. What components are typically worn UNDER your CB ensemble? 

What components are typically worn UNDER your CB ensemble? 



Included 


# 

Percent 

Under CB - Undershirt/shorts 

8 

Up 

Under CB - Duty uniform 

6 


Under CB - Duty belt and components 

0 


Under CB - Weapon and holster 

1 

9.1% 

Under CB - Body armor 

6 

54.5% 

Under CB - other 

4 

36.4% 


Components worn UNDER CB (cont.) - others listed 

Camelback 

Crime scene processing 
PT Gear 
Uniform pants 


51 

















10. What components are typically worn OVER your CB ensemble? 

What components are typically worn OVER your CB ensemble? 



Freq. 

Percent 

Over CB - Duty belt and components 

8 

72.7% 

Over CB - Weapon and holster 

7 

63.6% 

Over CB - Body armor 

2 

18.2% 

Components worn OVER CB (cont.) - others listed 


Load bearing vest 

radio, SCBA in Level B&C 

SCBA-helmet 

SCBA 

SCBA/Rebreather/PAPR 
APR, reflective vest (traffic) 
Helmet 

SCBA HyRID Respirator 


When asked if they typically have compatibility problems involving their CB equipment, 
approximately three quarters of the group said that they experience them. 


11. Do you typically experience any problems with components of your CB PPE being 
incompatible with each other? 

Do you experience CB PPE compatibility problems? 



Frequency 

Percent 

Valid 

Yes 

8 

72.7 


No 

3 

27.3 


Total 

11 

100.0 


Participants indicated how often they experience durability problems with their CB 
garments. Eight or nine participants have experienced problems with tearing, abrasion, 
seam separation, fading, and fabric piling. Just over half of the group said they have 
experienced staining. Of those who have had problems, tearing and abrasion are the 
more common issues, although mean scores indicate that in general, problems occur 
“rarely” to “sometimes.” The table below displays the frequency of each response by 
problem, along with the mean response for those who gave an answer greater than 
“never.” Overall, participants rated durability of their current garments “slightly good” 


52 




based on a mean score of 6, using a 9-point hedonic scale ranging from 1 to 9 
(“Extremely Bad” to “Extremely Good”). 


1 2. Please indicate how often each of the following durability problems occur to your current CB 
garment, if at all? 

CB PPE 


Frequency of Durability Problems 

Never 

Rarely 

Sometimes 

Often 

Mean 1 

Tearing 

2 

3 

5 

1 

1.78 

Abrasion 

2 

4 

5 

0 

1.56 

Seam Separation 

3 

6 

1 

1 

1.38 

Fading 

3 

6 

1 

0 

1.14 

Staining 

5 

5 

1 

0 

1.17 

Fabric Piling 

3 

7 

1 

0 

1.13 


1 Mean values based on possible scale of 1-5. (1="Rarely" to 5="Always") 


Mean values shown represent only those participants who said they have experienced problems. 


13. How would you rate the overall durability of your current CB garment? 


Overall Durability of CB Garment Mean 1 N 


Overall Durability 


6.00 11 


1 Mean values based on possible scale of 1-9. (1="Extremely Bad" to 9="Extremely Good") 


Almost all the participants answered that there is a need for improved duty uniforms. 
Many mentioned the need for some level of CB protection. They also mentioned 
improved characteristics, including comfort and load bearing. One participant believed 
that there is no need for new duty uniforms. 


14. Do you feel there is a need for improved duty uniforms? 


Is there a need for improved duty uniforms? 



Frequency 

Percent 

Yes 

10 

90.9 

No 

1 

9.1 

Total 

11 

100.0 


53 




Need exists for an improved duty uniform - Additional Comments 

CB protection with modification 

Current uniform offers no protection and not conducive to application of CB PPE 
Duty uniforms should include chemical protective characteristics 
Duty uniforms should add protection in CB environment 
Duty uniforms that followed a standard for fire, static, etc 

From discussion today, a duty uniform with any level of CB protection would be helpful. 
Adequate protection for first responders. 

More ergonomic. Greater options for equipment visibility and load bearing. 

No fire protection - is better if uniform is removed before donning PPE 

Quieter, lighter-breathable_ 


Need does not exist for an improved duty uniform - Additional Comments 

Current NBC ensembles cover all possibilities 


The following tables show which types of duty uniforms are owned by participants. 
Between seven and eight participants have the Class A, Class B, and BDU uniforms. 
They also added Nomex flight coveralls and others. 

15. What type of duty uniforms do you currently have? 


Current Duty Uniforms 




Percent 

Current duty uniforms - Class A 

8 

72.7% 

Current duty uniforms - Class B Tactical Uniforms 

7 

63.6% 

Current duty uniforms - BDUs 

8 

72.7% 

Current duty uniforms - other 

6 

54.5% 

Current duty uniforms - other 

1 

9.1% 


Current duty uniforms (cont.) - others listed 

Class C; specifically for riots 
Jacket 

Nomex flight coveralls 

Nomex flight suits 

Polo shirts, shorts (bike patrol) 

Regular garments 


54 










Participants provided the brand and type of each of their duty uniform garments. Several 
types of Class A and Class B uniforms were described, as were a few others. Brands 
included Fechheimer™, Flying Cross™, Horace Small™ and others. 

16. Please provide product information on the duty uniforms you typically wear. List any shirts 
(short and long sleeve), trousers, and/or shorts (if applicable). 


Type 

Garment 

Brand 

Freq. 

CLASS A 

Shirt 

Bauer 

1 

CLASS A 

Shirt 

Elbeco 

1 

CLASS A 

Shirt 

Fechheimer 

3 

CLASS A 

Shirt 

Flying Cross 

3 

CLASS A 

Shirt 

Florace Small 

3 

CLASS A 

Shirt 

Safari 

1 

CLASS A 

T rousers 

Bauer 

1 

CLASS A 

T rousers 

Fechheimer 

3 

CLASS A 

T rousers 

Flying Cross 

1 

CLASS A 

T rousers 

Flying Cross 

1 

CLASS A 

T rousers 

Horace Small 

3 

CLASS B 

Shirt 

511 

3 

CLASS B 

Shirt 

Fechheimer 

1 

CLASS B 

Shirt 

Horace Small 

1 

CLASS B 

Shirt 

various 

1 

CLASS B 

T rousers 

511 

3 

CLASS B 

T rousers 

Fechheimer 

1 

CLASS B 

T rousers 

Horace Small 

1 

CLASS B 

T rousers 

various 

1 

CLASS C 

Shirt 

Fechheimer 

1 

CLASS C 

T rousers 

Fechheimer 

1 

CLASS D 

Coverall 

US Gov't 

1 

T actical 

Shirt 


1 

T actical 

T rousers 


1 

BDU 

Shirt 


1 

BDU 

T rousers 


1 


55 












Most participants said that funding for their duty uniforms comes from department funds. 
A few said that they use federal, state or personal funds. 

1 7. What type of funding source is used to purchase your duty uniform(s) ? 


Funding Source 



Freq. 

Percent 

Duty uniform funding - Departmental funds 

9 

81.8% 

Duty uniform funding - Federal grants 

2 

18.2% 

Duty uniform funding - State grants 

1 

9.1% 

Duty uniform funding - DHS funding 

0 

.0% 

Duty uniform funding - Personal funds 

2 

18.2% 

Duty uniform funding - other 

1 

9.1% 


Funding source for duty uniform (cont.) - others listed 

USMC ~ 


The group was split between those who said that the type of funding source affects the 
uniform(s) they purchase, and those for whom the type of funding does not. 

18. Does the type of funding source affect which type of duty uniform you purchase? If yes, 
would you have chosen a different uniform? Please describe which kind. 


Uniform purchased affected by funding source? 




Percent 

Yes 

5 

45.5 

No 

6 

54.5 

Total 

11 

100.0 


Does funding source affect type of duty uniform purchased? 

Is grant funded - purchase dictate by grant requirements. 

Yes possibly. PPE for First responders were selected from available funds. 
Yes, Saratoga 


56 















Slightly two thirds of the group responded that the cost of their duty uniform is between 
$100 and $150 dollars. Most said that they do not have to replace their uniform every 
year, but two said that they need to replace them about four times per year. 


19. What is the approximate cost of your current duty uniform (shirt and trousers)? 


Approximate cost of current duty uniform 




Percent 

$50-$100 

3 

27.3 

$100-$150 

7 

63.6 

Total 

10 

90.9 

Missing System 

1 

9.1 

Total 

11 

100.0 


20. How often do you have to replace your current duty uniform? 

How often replace current duty uniform? 




Percent 

Approximately 4 times a year 

2 

18.2 

Less than once a year 

9 

81.8 

Total 

11 

100.0 


57 










Participants indicated how often they experience durability problems with their current 
duty uniforms. All participants indicated that the problems listed occur at least some of 
the time. The most frequent problems appear to be abrasion and fading based on the 
mean results which fell in the range of “sometimes” to “often”. At least one participant 
answered that fading and fabric piling occur “always.” The table below displays the 
frequency of each response by problem, along with the mean results. Overall, 
participants rated overall durability of their current duty uniforms as 6.27, which is in the 
range of “slightly good” to “moderately good” on a 9-point hedonic scale ranging from 1 
to 9 (“Extremely Bad” to “Extremely Good”). 

21. Please indicate how often each of the following durability problems occurs to your current 
duty uniform, if at all. 


Duty Uniform 


Frequency of Durability Problems 

Never 

Rarely 

Sometimes 

Often 

Always 

Mean 1 

Tearing 

0 

6 

4 

1 

0 

1.55 

Abrasion 

0 

3 

5 

3 

0 

2.00 

Seam Separation 

0 

6 

4 

1 

0 

1.55 

Fading 

0 

2 

6 

2 

1 

2.18 

Staining 

0 

4 

7 

0 

0 

1.64 

Fabric Piling 

0 

9 

1 

0 

1 

1.36 


1 Mean values based on possible scale of 1-5. (1="Rarely" to 5="Always") 

Mean values shown represent only those participants who said they have experienced problems. 


22. How would you rate the overall durability of your current duty uniform? 


Overall Durability of Duty Uniform Mean 1 N 


Overall Durability 


6.27 11 


1 Mean values based on possible scale of 1-9. (1="Extremely Bad" to 9="Extremely Good") 


Next, participants were asked if they wear ballistic and impact protective helmets as part 
of their jobs. Additional questions followed for those who answered yes to either, 
although a few participants answered those questions regardless. Almost half of the 
group said they wear a ballistic helmet, while three out of eleven wear impact head 
protection. 

23. Do you typically wear a ballistic helmet as part of your job? 


Ballistic Helmet typically worn in job 



Frequency 

Percent 

Yes 

5 

45.5 

No 

6 

54.5 

Total 

11 

100.0 


58 







24. Do you typically wear an impact protective helmet as part of your job? 


Impact Protective Helmet typically worn in job 




Percent 

Yes 

3 

27.3 

No 

8 

72.7 

Total 

11 

100.0 


Only one participant wears head protection daily, while the rest answered that they wear 
it either occasionally or in extreme circumstances. 


25. How often do you wear your helmet? 


How often do you wear your helmet 




Valid Percent 

All Day Everyday 

1 

11.1 

Occasionally 

4 

44.4 

Extreme Circumstances Only 

3 

33.3 

Never 

1 

11.1 

Total 

9 

100.0 

Missing System 

2 


Total 

11 



Five of the participants reported their helmet’s ballistic protection level, while two others 
did not know it. Three members said they have Level HA protection. 

26. Which ballistic protection level is your helmet rated for? 


Ballistic Protection Level Rating 




Valid Percent 

Level II 

1 

12.5 

Level 11A 

3 

37.5 

Level IMA 

1 

12.5 

1 Don't Know 

2 

25.0 

Other 

1 

12.5 

Total 

8 

100.0 

Missing System 



Total 




Ballistic Protection Level Rating (cont.) - others listed 
USMC Kevlar (low velocity fragments) 


59 





















When asked what type of weapon threat they are most concerned about, four participants 
answered “handguns,” three answered “shrapnel or fragmentation,” and two answered 
“rifles.” For impact threats, two participants were concerned with “sharp weapons,” 
while six responded “other.” Weapon threats and accident protection was mentioned. 

27. What type of weapon/projectile are you most concerned about? 


What weapon/projectile are you most concerned about? 



Frequency 

Valid Percent 

Handguns 

4 

44.4 

Rifles 

2 

22.2 

Shrapnel/Fragmentation 

3 

33.3 

Total 

9 

100.0 

Missing System 

2 


Total 

11 



28. What type of impact threat do you require protection against? 


What type of impact threat do you require protection against? 



Frequency 

Valid Percent 

Valid Sharp Objects / Weapons 

2 

25.0 

Other 

6 

75.0 

Total 

8 

100.0 

Missing System 

3 


Total 

11 


Impact Protection Threats (cont.) - others listed 


Bullets, projectiles 
Firearms, falling - hitting head 


60 




Participants were asked to rank three reasons for wearing a helmet in order of 
importance, from “1 st to “3 rd ’” with “1st” having the greatest importance, “2 nd ” having 
the second greatest importance, and so on. A weighted sum score is shown in the table 
below, which applies different weights to the three ranks to give an overall score 
representative of the participants’ opinions. Ballistic protection was shown to have the 
greatest importance, followed by impact protection, and then environmental protection, 
which was selected third by all participants. A few participants selected the same ranking 
for more than one reason. 

29. Rank the reasons for wearing a helmet from 1 to 3 (or 4) in order of importance, with 1 being 
the MOST important. 


Ranks in order of importance Weighted 


Reasons for wearing helmet 

1st 

2nd 

3rd 

Sum 1 

Ballistic Protection 

7 

2 

0 

25 

Impact Protecion 

2 

6 

0 

18 

Environmental Protection 

0 

0 

7 

7 


1 Weighted sum determinded by applying weight to each rank and computing the sum. 

Weights: 1st=3pts, 2nd=2pts, 3rd=1pts. Greater weighted sum indicates higher group ranking. 

Participants said that they wear helmets on large vessels, with just under half of the group 
wearing helmets in rotary wing aircraft and on foot. About a third of the group answered 
“yes” for riding in a vehicle or motorcycle. About three or fewer answered “yes” to the 
remaining situations. One included civil disturbances as an additional situation. 

30. What is the primary situation in which you are likely to be wearing a helmet? 


Situations in which you wear a helmet 



HUH 

Percent 

Large Vessel or Boat 

ii 

100.0% 

Small / Fast Vessel or Boat 

3 

27.3% 

Fixed Wing Aircraft 

1 

9.1% 

Rotary Wing Aircraft 

5 

45.5% 

Car/Truck 

4 

36.4% 

Motorcycle 

4 

36.4% 

Bicycle 

0 

.0% 

On Foot 

5 

45.5% 

Other 

1 

9.1% 


Situations when you wear a helmet (cont.) - others 

Civil disturbance 


61 








Regarding headgear accessories, items selected most by participants were gas/CB 
protection and eye protection. More than half the group also indicated night vision, 
communications accessories, and hearing protection. 

31. Do you currently have or use any of the following accessories with your protective headgear? 

Which of these headgear accessories do you have or use? 



Freq. 

Percent 

Camera 

2 

18.2% 

Illuminator (flashlight) 

4 

36.4% 

Infra-red illuminator 

2 

18.2% 

Night vision equipment 

' D 

63.6% 

Communications 


54.5% 

Eye Protection 


72.7% 

Hearing protection 


54.5% 

Gas / CB protective mask 


81.8% 

None 


9.1% 

Other 


18.2% 


Headgear Accessories (cont.) - others listed 

SCBA 

SCBA/Rebreather/PAPR 


About two thirds of those who responded said that they have experienced compatibility 
problems with their headgear accessories. When asked which accessories were 
incompatible, participants mentioned communications, respirator equipment, and night 
vision gear among others. 

32. Do you experience any problems with headgear accessories being incompatible with each 
other or your helmet? 


Dou you experience compatibility problems 
between headgear accessories or your helmet? 




Valid Percent 

Yes 

6 

66.7 

No 

3 

33.3 

Total 

9 

100.0 

Missing System 

2 


Total 

11 



Headgear Accessories incompatibilities (cont.) - others listed 

All - Corns, APR 

Most headphones for communications 
Night vision incompatible with APR, 

Respirator, communications, eye protection, night vision 
SCBA 


62