Donated Shields Designed to Better Protect Deputies

Posted: 4:48 PM, Aug 28, 2019 - Updated: 8:28 PM, Aug 28, 2019
By: Investigative Reporter Patrick Nelson

EL PASO COUNTY — We're getting our first look at a new piece of equipment designed to protect deputies on patrol in El Paso County. Investigative Reporter Patrick Nelson shows us why the new shields are so important.

The sheriff's office now has 60 new handheld shields. The hope is these shields will be an extra layer of protection for deputies who have to patrol one of the largest and most populated counties in the state.

It's one of the most dangerous situations a law enforcement officer can find themselves in, being ambushed while sitting in their patrol vehicle. Now, El Paso County Sheriff's Office deputies will have ballistic shields by their side.

"They are specifically small. They are meant to cover the areas between the head, the neck. So anything that's not covered by a ballistic vest," said Lt. Mitch Mihalko of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

The Riggs Shields are capable of stopping most bullets and knife attacks.

"To keep an officer safe while they are negotiating with an emotionally disturbed person, or someone in crisis. The ability to safely clear a house, the ability to protect from an ambush type of attack from inside of a car," said Lt. Mihalko.

The shields are light weight and easily worn.

"it also has the ability to wrap around an arm so if you needed to use two hands, or go to a different tool you could do that also with the shield in place," said Lt. Mihalko.

County leaders say the new shields are an important added layer of protection for deputies who may not have time to wait for backup.

"So very often a sheriff's deputy is off in a very rural area on their own checking out some type of challenge or problem that we might have received with a call. So it's important that they have the best protective capacity possibly doing that as a single individual at that point in time," said El Paso County Commissioner Stan Vanderwerf.

The shields were donated by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office Foundation. Deputies will go through a training period before using them.

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Read about how the Riggs Shield helped officers on the job at: Click SUCCESS STORIES

The broken window of the patrol car where Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were fatally ambushed in Brooklyn as they sat inside in December. Credit John Minchillo/Associated Press        

A must read, click on title of New York Times Story

"The Police Car Provides a Home on the Job, and a False Sense of Safety"

by Michael Wilson, Crime Scene.


In-The-Car Ballistic Shield Defends Against Attacks

Unprovoked attacks on police officers are rising around the country. California Deputy Robert Riggs saw it firsthand when his partner was ambushed in his patrol car. “I knew there had to be a better way to protect ourselves while we are seated in our patrol cars. Typically large shields are stored in the trunk of the vehicle and don’t provide immediate protection if you come under attack while seated in your vehicle,” says Riggs.

According to the FBI statistics, more than half of the officers killed by firearms annually were not wearing body armor when they were slain. Of those who wore vests, most died from either head or neck wounds, or were struck in areas not protected by their vests.

Riggs developed and manufactures Riggs Shield™, the fastest deploying ballistic shield from inside a patrol car. Riggs Shield is a UL Level III (NIJ level IIIa) ballistic shield that mounts to the door panel of a patrol vehicle, giving instant access to the shield to protect the head and neck while seated in the vehicle. The shield is rated to stop up to 0.44 Magnum, 240 grain, pistol rounds.

Riggs ShieldTM  is designed, patented and manufactured by law enforcement.  “Every patrol vehicle should be equipped with Riggs Shield,” says Riggs. “This design fills the gap of traditional body armor and costs less than $300. And if your Riggs Shield™ is struck while defending an attack, manufacturer BRB Designs LLC will replace it for free.”

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Solutions to Make Your Job Safer

It's called "The Riggs Shield" and Steve Bush, the President of Police Ballistic Shield is interviewed by Show Host Randy Sutton in this weeks episode of BLUE LIVES RADIO THE VOICE OF AMERICAN LAW ENFORCEMENT.

Ambush attack of Law Enforcement Officer leads Deputy to invent the fastest deploying ballistic shield to save more cops lives. When Deputy Sheriff Bob Rigg’s friend and partner was ambushed and shot in his patrol car, he knew that something had to be done to protect other Law Enforcement Officers. He tirelessly researched and developed a tool that is saving law enforcement lives. It’s call “The Riggs Shield” and Steve Bush, the President of Police Ballistic Shield is my guest on Blue Lives Radio.

Listen to the radio interview at:

February, 2016

This is a link to a great unsolicited review of Riggs Shield by a Largo officer who writes for has a million followers on his website.

Riggs Shield for Mobile Police Protection