Regular patrol officers in Florida are to be provided with bullet-proof ballistic shields in another sign of how police departments are preparing for violence and civil unrest in America.
“Saxon Security and its partner LCOA Defense have been named suppliers to the St. Petersburg (Florida) police department for new ballistic shields for general patrol officers,” reports BusinessWire. 45 ballistic shields will be provided to routine beat cops.
The video above shows the Deadstop Ballistic Shield repelling bullets. The clip displays the use of the shield in SWAT-style scenarios but now regular beat officers will also carry it while on patrol.
LCOA’s website also clearly places the use of the shield in the context of SWAT operations, not day to day patrols.
“DeadStop® Shields provide protection for a tactical squad in a live fire scenario. Developed in concert with US SWAT teams, our shields provide expected coverage at a surprising net weight,” states the promo text.
Arming general patrol officers with bullet and projectile-repellent shields is another indication that law enforcement bodies across the country are preparing for potential civil dislocation.
The federal government is also making similar preparations. Back in March, the Department of Homeland Security awarded defense contractor ATK a deal to provide the DHS with 450 million rounds of bullets over a five year period.
The DHS has also recently purchased a number of bullet-proof checkpoint booths that include ‘stop and go’ lights.
With forecasters predicting violent unrest later this year as a result of a deepening economic crisis, police bodies like the NYPD have held “mobilization exercises” to train police to prepare for civil unrest in the United States.
In August last year, the NYPD Disorder Control Unit brought together police from all five of the city’s boroughs to rehearse what the response would be “should out-of-control riots break out here”.
A report produced by the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Institute in 2008 warned that the United States may experience massive civil unrest in the wake of a series of crises which it termed “strategic shock.”
“Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” stated the report, authored by [Ret.] Lt. Col. Nathan Freir, adding that the military may be needed to quell “purposeful domestic resistance”.
The video below shows police using the Deadstop ballistic shield as part of SWAT training. Now regular patrol officers in Florida will have this same tool.