PROTECT & SERVE
TO ENHANCE PUBLIC & MOTOR OFFICER SAFETY, A SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AGENCY IS SPORTING NEW RAPID DEPLOYABLE ARMOR
As we all know far too well, active shooters seem to be part of society right now. That’s one great reason U.S. Armor developed some innovative technology. By Doug Jeffrey
“To protect and to serve.” That familiar slogan is seen on law enforcement cars in more than one city. Now that U.S. Armor has introduced new Rapid Deployable Shields for a Southern California law enforcement agency, the words take on a whole new meaning, which you’re about to read all about. David Miller is the Director of Engineering for U.S. Armor.
Having spent 21 years in law enforcement, the 56-year-old knows the field. Combined with his 12 years in ballistic engineering, Miller was the perfect go-to source when the Redondo Beach Police Department (Southern California) contacted U.S. Armor with an idea to bolster the protection for its motor officers.
In the following story, Miller, who has been with U.S. Armor for four years, describes the process and the product, which protects and serves its officers and the public.
TACTICAL WORLD: WHAT ARE THE NAMES OF THESE NEW SHIELDS? DAVID MILLER: We are calling them Rapid Deployable Shields, either hard or soft. They can either be purchased together or individually in either a single carry bag or a combo bag.
TW: ARE THESE STRICTLY FOR LE? MILLER: We only sell to law enforcement, military, government agencies or security people.
TW: WHAT MAKES THEM UNIQUE? MILLER: These shields were designed to be used in emergency situations, where a shield is needed to provide an officer with emergency protection. They store in a smaller space like your vehicle’s trunk or a motor unit’s saddle bag. They are not designed to take the place of a tactical entry shield, but they can be deployed in an emergency in which you need emergency protection.
The hard shield folds down into an approximate size of 11 x 14 x 2 inches and opens to 11 x 36 inches.
The soft shield folds down to measure approximately 11 x 14 x 4 inches and opens to 33 x 42 inches. The shield has four carry handles and can be used as an emergency litter.
TW: HOW LONG WERE THEY IN DEVELOPMENT? MILLER: Both shields were developed in conjunction with the Redondo
Police Department’s request and were based on their needs with the Africa Twin Motorcycle project. Afterward, we saw their potential where they fill the needs of other officer safety requirements in emergency situations. Their overall development time was approximately 180 days.
“… WE SAW THEIR POTENTIAL WHERE THEY FILL THE NEEDS OF OTHER OFFICER SAFETY NEEDS IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS.”
TW: FROM WHAT MATERIAL ARE THEY MADE? MILLER: The hard shield is made from pressed Honeywell Advanced Spectra material. The soft shield is made the same design as our XLT3A (ballistic IIIA NIJ 0101.05) vest.
TW: WHAT TYPE OF [SPECIFIC BALLISTIC] PROTECTION DO THEY PROVIDE? MILLER: Both shields provide Level IIIA protection.
TW: IN FIVE YEARS, WILL THERE BE ANOTHER VERSION OF THESE? IF SO, HOW WILL THEY BE DIFFERENT? MILLER: As with all ballistic products, additional testing and updating will be conducted as needed and or/as requested.
TW: WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD ANYTHING? MILLER: These shields were developed for use in an emergency situation and are not designed to take the place of other tactical shields.
Officer Bill Turner demonstrates how a Rapid Deployable Shield functions in an emergency situation.
Above: Officers store the shields in a motor unit’s saddle bags.
Left: The shields can be used in multiple different scenarios/ applications, Turner noted, including as a “stretcher” for an injured person.
Above: Officer Bill Turner demonstrates how one of the deployable shields offers protection.
Top: Officer Turner deployed the shield on the bike and got into position very quickly.
Bottom: Officer Turner, who said he “loves the products,” mentioned that their weight offsets each other, so they do not impact riding or handling.