Weapons & Protective Systems Technologies Center (WPSTC)

Related Links

Andy Mazzara, Director

John Kenny, Assoc. Director

Troy Krenning, Assoc. Director

Mike Hendrickson, Pursuit Management Technologies

Tim Brungart, School Safety Technologies

Steve Allison, Officer Safety & Protection

Joe Dempsey, Explosives Remediation

What WPSTC is About...

WPSTC LogoThe Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP) announced the creation of four Technology Centers of Excellence in 2007, created to serve as specialized criminal justice technology resources for law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners.

Each Center provides expertise in specific technology areas and helps introduce law enforcement technologies into practice within the criminal justice community.

The Pennsylvania State University was designated in October 2007 and again in Oct. 2010 as the Weapons and Protective Systems Technologies Center (WPSTC) to support OJP's efforts to enhance the safety of law enforcement and corrections officers. The WPSTC is managed by Penn State and includes programs within the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) and the Denver Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Denver. These efforts include introducing into practice safer, more effective less-lethal devices and equipment to protect them against chemical and biological weapons and improvised explosive devices. The Center also provides technical and administrative support to the National Bomb Squad Commander's Advisory Board and establishes a bomb technology test and evaluation program.

WPSTC also provides similar technology support activities in the areas of officer safety and pursuit management.

Within each of its program areas, the WPSTC is charged with six (6) major functions:

  • Walking CoAssisting the NIJ identify criminal justice technology requirements by coordinating and conducting Technical Working Groups, conducting focused studies, and participating in relevant technical conferences and workshops;
  • Supporting NIJ research and development programs by assisting in defining program objectives, assessing ongoing NIJ projects, scouting relevant technology efforts, and participating in national & regional groups;
  • Testing, evaluating and demonstrating technologies by conducting comparative laboratory and field testing, conducting and coordinating operational evaluations and conducting, facilitating and coordinating demonstrations with law enforcement and corrections agencies;
  • Supporting the adoption of new technologies by introducing new technologies to practitioners, providing practitioner requirements to developers, assisting developers in commercialization, and providing support to first adopter Law Enforcement Agancies (LEAs) for effectiveness evaluation;
  • Coordinating and developing technology guidelines for planning, selecting and implementing technology solutions; and
  • Providing technology assistance to criminal justice agencies nationally including providing science and engineering advice and assist first adopters with new tools and methods.