Shielding public sector employees with armor (with related video)
Cleveland-based Impact Armor Technologies is one of several U.S. firms that are marketing backpack shields and other bulletproof products for schools and other public sector applications.
The boards in the backpack are made out of the synthetic aramid fiber Kevlar, layered with adhesives. The materials are used to produce a sturdy panel about a half-inch thick that slips inside a backpack. The boards sell for $70 to $95, depending on dimensions. According to the company, the boards can stop a bullet fired from a 9 millimeter to a 0.44 mag round at point-blank range, and have been awarded the highest rating by the National Institute of Justice. They are designed to exceed NIJ level IIIA specifications.
The company’s bulletproof products, including its line of clipboards, have been used for years by police officers and soldiers. Other public sector workers are finding uses for Impact Armor Technologies’ products, says Rob Slattery who is the company’s sales manager. “School principals, bus drivers, emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and a lot of school teachers buy our clipboards and other bulletproof products.”
Other occupations are taking a look at bulletproof products, Slattery told GPN. “It’s not surprising, but lots of attorneys are buying them. I’m dealing with a group of psychologists that are considering ordering the clipboard. They work with a lot of people with emotional issues, and sometimes the psychologists find themselves in dangerous situations, and so they feel more secure with the boards readily at hand.“
Slattery urges government agencies to check with potential grant sources, including the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security for financial assistance to acquire bulletproof products for their staffers. “We can definitely assist in researching and locating the grants and aiding governments in filling out the paperwork for grant awards,” says Slattery.
Impact Armor offers a variety of personal protection equipment, including ballistic personal protection devices. Some of the firm’s school safety products include a bulletproof desktop calendar, whiteboard and backpack insert. The firm also sells armored vehicles and custom armor.
Impact Armor's Slattery says his firm started getting more inquiries about protective backpacks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14, 2012, in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Conn. A gunman killed twenty children and six adult staff members in the incident.
Slattery, who retired with a 2008 line-of-duty injury to his knee from the Brooklyn, Ohio, police force, adds, "If we save one life, regardless of whether we sell one or a million, we've done something fantastic."
This video describes Impact Armor Technologies’ line of school safety products.