I was over in St. Petersburg last week and got to see their brand new DeadStop Equalizer Police Shields that were distributed to supervisors less than a month ago. As you can see, the protective plastic sheets are still over the viewing window.
Made by LCOA Composites, Inc, the DeadStop Equalizer is a NIJ level IIIa ballistic shield with a nice array of features, the most prominent of which is the ultra light weight. The Equalizer shown above clocks in at 15 pounds for the 24″ X 40″ intermediate coverage shield. DeadStop calls their composite formulation Feather Plate armor technology.
I really liked the ergonomics of the Equalizer’s grab handle. It is ambidextrous and provides gripping in the vertical, horizontal, and my favorite, a 45 degree angle of the forearm. This is a great compromise of stability and comfort when wielding the shield for extended periods.
There are two reliefs, that DeadStop calls firing portals, cut in the sides of the shield for the operator to place his dominant arm for handgun use. In effect, the portals allow the user to straighten his gun arm to less of an angle, giving a more natural hold and sight picture. I have never been fond of holding my pistol around the edge of a squared shield in an exaggerated Fiddler Crab claw fashion.
In handling the shield, I found that these cutouts help index your forearm. The rounded portals keep your arm from sliding up and down the side of the shield and allow your dominant arm to assist in stabilizing and maneuvering the shield. This can reduce fatigue on the non-dominant arm carrying the shield and add mobility. The firing portals on the Equalizer are good tactical design.
DeadStop touts their line as the lightest full protection NIJ level IIIa shields on the market today. Without the window, the Equalizer weighs a scant 11.5 pounds. The 24″ X 40″ size of the Equalizer covers the entire upper body while moving and the full body in a kneeling position. The Equalizer’s window is multiple hit NIJ level IIIa. There are options available for Equalizers, to include a 900 lumen LED light package.
According to LCOA Composites, the St. Petersburg Police Department studied ballistic shields from 6 different manufacturers before contracting with LCOA for an order of 45 DeadStop Equalizers. The order was paid for with seized drug money. Though I don’t have the exact cost, I’m told that the Equalizers are very price-competitive.
The St. Pete sergeant who showed me the shield likes his new Equalizer, and I was equally impressed with it after having an opportunity to put it through the motions.