POLICE Magazine

AUG 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1150736

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Page 62 of 68

T THE TRAGEDY of active shooters targeting schools— from Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida to Oikos Universi- ty in California—appears to be increasing in severity. Arguments have been made to arm teachers and provide them with law enforcement firearms training. Arguments have been made to increase police presence at schools with manda- tory SROs and regular patrols. Arguments have been made to incorporate into the school budget funds for private armed se- curity to roam the halls. ese arguments are really all about installing what amount to measures to go on the offensive against an armed threat. However, an argument could be made that schools at every level—elementary, middle, high, college, trade school—should be more proactively taking defensive measures. Specifically, schools and students can purchase and utilize a host of ballis- tic protective products that can help keep students safe in the event of an armed attack. Backpacks and Inserts A variety of companies are now producing backpacks and/or backpack inserts that offer ballistic protection. In fact, there are 10 | SP E C I A L R E P O RT | B A L L I S T IC PR O T E C T IO N PHOTO: LEATHERBACK GEAR PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES companies that produce nothing but ballistic backpacks. Leatherback Gear (www.leatherbackgear.com) produces a line of backpacks in a variety of styles from covert to overtly tactical that offer protection from gunfire. e two models—the Civilian One and the Tactical One— separate so that the wearer can have NIJ Level IIIA ballistic protection on both front and back sides. e packs weigh less than four pounds (not including books, school supplies, laptop computers, and the like) and measure a pretty standard back- pack size. e Leatherback Gear packs also have a drag handle on the top that can withstand a 300-pound pull. Another popular set of options comes from Tuffy Packs (https://tuffypacks.com), which makes inserts that can go into consumer packs as well as purpose-built backpacks that in- clude Level IIIA protection. e inserts from Tuffy Packs come Leatherback Gear sells backpacks that separate to provide NIJ Level IIIA ballistic protection on a person's front and back. Manufacturers are making a variety of bullet-resistant packs, blankets, and window treatments for use in schools. Doug Wyllie Defensive Measures on Campus

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