FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Departments : First Look

Kevlar Clipboard: Undercover Armor

Impact Armor Technologies' unassuming Kevlar clipboard acts as a lightweight mini-shield should the need arise.

September 22, 2011  |  by - Also by this author

Photo: Impact Armor.
Photo: Impact Armor.
Considering the uncertainty of any encounter while on patrol, it doesn't hurt to have a secret defense at your disposal. If that item is a functional, comfortable clipboard, all the better. The Ballistic Clipboard manufactured by Cleveland-based Impact Armor Technologies provides NIJ Level IIIA protection and weighs less than two pounds.

"The form factor is lightweight and thin, so it's something that can be put in a case, or in a motor officer's saddlebags," says Matt Raplenovich, director of operations. "But also, it's contoured and sculpted with a built-in handle so it's easy to grab and to hold. People have commented that functionally it's a better clipboard, even if it were just made of pressed board."

Made using a Kevlar weave, the Ballistic Clipboard maintains its strength and ballistic protection without the weight of other similar products. And the fact that it's not made of a hard plastic, like some standard clipboards, means that the board won't shatter into shrapnel that could harm a police officer. It's been tested to provide ballistic protection at both a distance and point-blank range.

It was a police officer touring the company's facility as a customer of sister company Team Wendy who came up with the product idea on the fly. Impact Armor Technologies has now repositioned itself to perfect and sell the Ballistic Clipboard to law enforcement, in addition to its original focus of creating vehicle armor for the military. Already a hit with officers as a prototype, the Ballistic Clipboard now incorporates changes requested by those who tested it in the field. It has smoother edges so it won't catch on anything when being removed from a patrol bag, and the ambidextrous handle has been redesigned.

"The handhold changed shape just a little bit to make it more comfortable to the user, and also we did increase the opening size so the part where your fingers go through is easier to use with gloves," says Raplenovich. "It now provides a more positive connection with the clipboard in all conditions." A sturdier, waterproof material has also been added.

It's important to company engineers that law enforcement officers have a tool that works for them, even if that means some more tweaks down the line. Different sizes and colors could be introduced if there's enough of a demand. "As a product whose genesis was from the end user, it's designed to their specifications instead of us pushing it out the door on them," Raplenovich says.

When it comes to providing protection, law enforcement officers can use the clipboard to do more than stop bullets, thanks in part to its ergonomically designed handle and light weight.

"Hopefully officers don't have to use this clipboard for that, but there are some hidden benefits to it," says Rob Slattery, a medically retired police officer who's found a second career at Impact Armor Technologies. "It's not a threatening tool. It's not like you're walking up with your gun out or anything like that. But you could use it to push somebody off of you, God forbid somebody was reaching for your gun. You could use it as a striking tool, as well as ballistic protection."

Tags: Product Reviews, Ballistic Shields, Impact Armor Technologies

Request more info about this product / service / company


Comments (1)

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Bob @ 9/24/2011 12:44 PM

I bought one of the clipboards. I can not believe how light it is. Fits perfectly in my duty bag. I hope I never need the extra protection , but it is nice to know I have it.

Join the Discussion





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent Stories

Estate Planning: What Will You Do?
You have a "go-bag" for the rare active shooter and even visualize racing down a school...
What Records Wants You to Know
The end of your report is merely the start of a process that involves many gatekeepers....
Glove-Mounted Light: Handy Lighting
It's difficult to perform other tasks when you're holding a light. Officer Suresh Madhavan...
The 5 Biggest Search-and-Seizure Myths
Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court made the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule binding on...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine