POLICE Magazine

MAY 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1113598

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 76

POLICEMAG.COM 19 Hardwire's B-Kit armor covers the patrol vehicle's doors, and it is available for 14 different makes of popular law en- forcement vehicles, including all of the pursuit-rated patrol vehicles produced by Chev y, Dodge, and Ford. Tunis says that because Hardwire's armor is applied to the exterior of the vehicle it is easy to install. "It takes about 10 to 15 minutes for a crew of four to armor the vehicle," he explains. Also, agencies can add to the armor in order to increase the protection. "Our kits all work like Lego," Tunis says. "You can go from IIIA to III and add on just like Lego." Tunis adds that the armor comes off as easily as it goes on. If a car is wrecked or it is being retired because of mile- age, the armor can be transferred to the same make and model of vehicle. He says, "Reusing it has been a huge cost-savings for all the departments that use it." Currently, Hardwire's B-Kit armor is in use by the Philadelphia Police De- partment and the NYPD. Tunis says both the officers and the public can tell that the vehicle is armored. "It makes the car look a little more muscular, not militarized, but muscular," he says, adding that officers take comfort in the "blister" on the side of their cars. "Of- ficers rest their hands on it to confirm their vehicles are armored," he explains. of the vehicle. Hardwire CEO George Tunis says the idea for adding armor to the exterior of patrol vehicles was developed from the company's work for the military. at's why the company refers to its police ve- hicle armor system as a "B-Kit." In mil- itary vehicle armoring nomenclature, the vehicle itself is the "A-Kit," and the armor added to the exterior to protect the occupants from small arms fire is the "B-Kit." law enforcement customers, but most of its police sales are to U.S. agencies, according to Porthier. "Violence against police is not as prevalent in Canada," she explains. Also, even though DEW is based in Ottawa, it is a fully owned sub- sidiary of Colorado-based Coorstek. One concern about installing armor inside the doors of patrol vehicles is how much weight the armor adds to the ve- hicle and how the additional weight af- fects performance. Porthier says weight varies based on the protection level and composition of the armor, but DEW has a policy of never adding more than 50 pounds per door. DEW's most popu- lar law enforcement armor panel is its Level III door panel, which weighs 42 pounds. Porthier says that when DEW first started offering products to the law en- forcement market, its Level IIIA panels were in the greatest demand. In just four years that has changed. "A lot more agencies are asking for rifle protection," she says. "Whether an officer works in the inner city or out in farm country, the rifles are out there." OUTSIDE THE DOOR Pocomoke City, MD-based Hardwire LLC (www.hardwirellc.com) takes a very different approach to armoring law enforcement vehicles than its competi- tors. It applies the armor to the outside DEW Engineering's inside-the-door vehicle armor is available in versions that can withstand rifle fire. PHOTO: DEW ENGINEERING PHOTO: HARDWIRE LLC Philadelphia patrol officer Jesse Hartnett stands next to a city police vehicle armored with Hardwire's B-Kit. He was ambushed and seriously wounded inside his patrol vehicle in 2016, spurring the department to add armor.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of POLICE Magazine - MAY 2019