POLICE Magazine

MAY 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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

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20 POLICE MAY 2019 scratch resistance. Vehicle armor manufacturers have produced an ingenious solution to pro- tect the driver or passenger while main- taining functionality of the window and minimizing weight and expense: ey only shield the part of the window where the driver or passenger can be hit by gunfire. "It covers about half of the window," says Hardwire's Tunis. With both DEW's and Hardwire's window armor, the existing vehicle window stays on the vehicle, and the armor is not attached to the window but the door. is way officers can roll down their windows and talk to people while the armor stays in place. Porthier says there's no way with current technology to replace the window with the armor material and maintain functionality. "e armor would be too thick for the window slot," she says. Patrol vehicle window armor is ex- tremely tough, according to Tunis. An- swering a question about multiple shot capabilities, he says, "You can shoot it all day and not penetrate it. At some point it just fills up with lead." F ormer Cedar Rapids, IA, police officer Keith Brown gets some pretty puzzled looks and funny comments when he starts talking to his law enforcement colleagues about his Attack Mats, literally ballistic floor mats for patrol vehicles. "I've been a cop for 30 years, and I've never had anybody shoot at me from the bottom of the car," one potential customer told him. Brown, who served as a patrol officer for 10 years, laughs about such comments. And he quickly explains that his Attack Mats ballistic floor mats are not intended to protect officers' feet from incoming fire. They are designed to be rapidly accessible shields. "I wanted officers to have a ballistic shield that was in the car with them at all times, and they wouldn't have to pull it out of their trunks or the backs of their SUVs under fire. So I came up with the idea of ballis- tic floor mats," he explains. And, yes, the Attack Mats are also fully functional floor mats cut to fit the floorboards of popular patrol vehicles. Attack Mats are manufactured for Brown by ballistic armor company Hardwire LLC, and they are made of Dyneema ballistic material that is rated NIJ Level IIIA. Which means they can stop 12-gauge slugs and a wide variety of handgun rounds, including the .44 Magnum. Attack Mats are lightweight at less than 7 pounds and designed to be held with one hand while shooting with the other. They have a built-in handle and ambidextrous straps so they can easily be held in either hand. Pricing varies by order size. However, Brown estimates $1,500 for a pair, one driver and one passenger. That includes shipping. He says some agencies are inquiring about buying a single mat for their vehicles because they run single-officer patrols, but he hopes they will see the officer safety benefits of having two. "If an officer at a traffic stop comes under fire, they may have a better chance of getting to the passenger side floor mat first." Attack Mats are currently being tested by a number of agencies, including the NYPD, accord- ing to Brown. "They have them in some of their cars out on the street, and have done some testing," he says, adding that they have yet to be used in actual action. Brown is confident that when Attack Mats are shot in action they will protect the officers using them. But he admits that absorb- ing the impact from handgun or shotgun rounds while holding the lightweight shield in one arm is going to hurt. "It may break your arm," he explains. "But if you can go home at the end of your shift with no serious injuries that is the goal." www.attackmats.com Former patrol officer Keith Brown demonstrates the use of Attack Mats ballistic floor mats. BALLISTIC FLOOR MATS PHOTO: AT TACK MATS Patrol vehicle window armor partially covers the window, protecting the officer while allowing the officer to use the window for speaking to people and other operations. PHOTO: HARDWIRE LLC Bad guys also apparently notice the armor on the outside of the vehicle. "It's definitely a deterrent," Tunis says, adding that no police vehicle protect- ed by Hardwire's B-Kit armor has been shot at. Hardwire's B-Kit armor is made of Dyneema's ultra-high-molecu- lar-weight polyethylene ballistic ma- terial. It also has a molded cover that's made of the same material as the plastic trim used on contemporary vehicles. e cover can be color-matched to the vehicle's paint, and decorated with the agency's markings. THE CLEAR PART Glass is one of the greatest vulnera- bilities on any law enforcement patrol vehicle. An attacker can fire into the windshield or more likely into the side windows. Armoring an SUV windshield is expensive and adds a lot of weight. But armoring the side windows is much more practical. Patrol vehicle window armor is usu- ally made of polycarbonate or layered glass. DEW's Porthier says customers choose the material based on the value they place on different factors such as ARMORING YOUR ROLLING OFFICE

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