An investigation of the effectiveness of police cruiser doors as protection from handgun attack

Maxwell Fogleman, Jeremy Craigie, Terrence Stobbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The objective of this research was to investigate the degree to which automobile doors (especially police cruiser doors) may be used as protection by police officers when under handgun attack. This is a vital question, since the cruiser door is often the only defense a police officer has when encountering gunfire. Data were collected on door penetration capabilities of 3 calibers of handguns (selected based on FBI data on police officer assaults) at 2 different angles of fire. Results indicated that caliber has a significant effect, with the likelihood of penetration increasing with caliber. The oblique angle of fire (45 °) was somewhat less likely to penetrate than an orthogonal angle, although the difference was not significant. Overall, 68% of the rounds penetrated the door regardless of angle of fire or caliber.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-456
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 2005



  • Handgun attack
  • Police
  • Police cruiser doors
  • Protection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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