Title:
Tactical protective shield
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shield for use by police and law enforcement is disclosed. The shield has a variety of features useful in encounters with unknown persons, including a video capture mechanism.



Inventors:
Thomas, Tim (Elizabethtown, KY, US)
Application Number:
11/633857
Publication Date:
06/07/2007
Filing Date:
12/05/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41H7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DAVID, MICHAEL D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHARLOTTE A. BAILEY (PORTLAND, ME, US)
Claims:
1. A protective shield, comprising: a frame composed of a material suitable for blocking or blunting assaultive blows or devices directed to a user of the shield; an arm-handle, located on a wearer's side of the shield, for selectively keeping the shield on the arm of a wearer, even when that user is unable to grip; a video camera, attached to the frame and having capability of viewing a field of vision visible from an assailant's side of the shield; and a user-operated control mechanism, located at a grippable position at the end of the arm handle, for operating a plurality of electronic devices including at least the video camera.

2. The shield of claim 1, wherein the frame further comprises: an inner panel having a slight curvature; and an outer panel having a rectangular shape, and also with a slight curvature; wherein the curvatures of the inner and outer panels are in non-concentric directions, and form an aperture therebetween.

3. The shield of claim 2, further comprising: the frame being lightweight and capable of being carried on either the left or right arms of a user.

4. The shield of claim 1, further comprising: a high powered visible light, audio/video recording capabilities, a pepper spray device, a visible laser light, and a taser, all attached to the frame, and responsive to the user-operated control mechanism.

5. The shield of claim 1, further comprising: a speaker, located within the frame, for use as a public address system, including playing a pre-recorded message.

6. The shield of claim 2, wherein the outer panel contains on its outer surface a rigid, impact resistant material.

7. The shield of claim 1, further comprising: the inner panel being composed of an impact resistant material for the purposes of increasing the ability of the shield to stop a projectile that penetrated the outer panel.

8. The shield of claim 1, further comprising: an identification location area on the exterior of said outer panel, wherein said identification location area is designed to have applied to its surface a reflective, high visibility decal for clearly identifying any person or agency carrying the shield.

9. The shield of claim 1, further comprising: a viewing port, located on the upper portion of said outer panel, for allowing an individual to view through the shield through a clear impact resistant lens.

10. The shield of claim 1, further comprising: the inner panel containing a pivoting liquid crystal video display located on its upper portion.

11. The shield of claim 1, wherein the carrying arm-handle and control mechanism are designed to be easily changed from right to left hand carry.

12. The shield of claim 11, wherein the arm-handle further comprises a rotation and locking mechanism such that the shield may rotate between and lock into place between two or more possible positions, thereby facilitating use by either a right or left handed individual.

13. The shield of claim 11, further comprising: the arm-handle having a variety of tilting positions.

14. The shield of claim 1, further comprising: hollow structures and a mount-bar built into the interior of the frame, so as to facilitate unhindered movement of the arm-handle along the mount-bar.

15. The shield of claim 1, further comprising: forearm clamps to clamp the shield to a forearm of a user, wherein the clamps are permanently fixed in the depression in the back of said inner panel of said shield.

16. The shield of claim 1, wherein the arm-handle further comprises an arm-handle having a weapon rest and a weapon laser sight, wherein the weapons rest telescopes out of the mount bar along a retractable slider mounted within the arm-handle.

17. The shield of claim 16, wherein the weapon rest further comprises: a trough, a pressure sensor, located within a nadir of the trough; wherein when a weapon is placed in the trough, the pressure sensor is activated so that the laser sight will be illuminated, so as to facilitate improved use of a weapon.

18. The shield of claim 1, wherein the control mechanism further comprises means for activating the liquid crystal display and live video feed, thereby assisting in aiming and firing a weapon while positioned behind the shield.

19. The shield of claim 2, further comprising: a plurality of strap clips located at least on a upper centerline and lower centerline of the inner panel, wherein said strap clips allow the user to carry the shield hands-free; and further wherein the strap-clips are controllable by a retractable device, thereby allowing for concealment of the strap inside the shield and allowing the user to change the length of the strap and also adjust the tension on the strap.

20. The shield of claim 1, wherein the control mechanism further comprises: a plurality of recessed pressure switches designed to activate various devices, a plurality of safety measures and escalation protocols designed to minimize the possibility of accidental deployment of devices including a system of pressing buttons in varying combinations.

21. The shield of claim 2, wherein the aperture further comprises: a bionic ear system including an amplified listening system containing various audio sensors placed on the external surface of the shield and connected to a sound amplification module located within the aperture, wherein the information and amplified sound is relayed to an ear-fitting piece by wireless means.

22. The shield of claim 21, further comprising: a stand-alone feature wherein the shield is removed from a user's arm, placed in a strategic position and left alone, thereby allowing that user to listen from a remote location.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/742,269 which was filed on Dec. 6, 2005.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a shield for use by police and law enforcement, and more specifically a shield with a variety of features useful in encounters with unknown persons, including a video capture mechanism.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

When law enforcement personnel encounters an unknown individual, surprises can happen where it may be desired to have suitable protection. It may also be useful to video-capture the encounter. Consequently, a means for achieving these results is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a protective shield for use by law enforcement personnel. It is yet another object of the present invention to provide means of video-capturing an encounter with an unknown person. It is yet another object of the present invention to achieve the above in a way that is accessible to a wearer who may be preoccupied with defending themself. These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become readily apparent as the following description is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1A-1C show front, top, and side views of a first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2A shows an interior view of the present invention;

FIGS. 2B-2C show top and side views of FIG. 2A;

FIGS. 3A-3C, 4A-4C, 5A-5C, and 6A-6C show additional detail of the present invention;

FIGS. 7A-7C show an arm-handle and control mechanism used within the present invention;

FIGS. 7D-7E show a retractable slider used within the present invention;

FIGS. 8A-8E show various portions of the arm-mount used within the present invention;

FIG. 9 shows a removable panel used within the present invention; and

FIG. 10A-10C show a weapon rest used within the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Before explaining the disclosed embodiment of the present invention in detail it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the particular arrangement shown, since the invention is capable of other embodiments. Also, the terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.

As shown in FIGS. 1A-1C, the shield 100 of the present invention comprises a roughly rectangular shaped, slightly curved, protective outer panel 1, fitted with a series of user-operable devices. The body of the shield 100 is made of an impact resistant material designed to minimize the impact of projectiles of many types. The shield 100 is lightweight and capable of being carried on one arm, either left or right.

As shown in FIGS. 1A-1C and 2A-2C, the devices capable of being deployed from the shield 100 include but are not limited to a high powered visible light 3, audio/video recording capabilities, a weapon rest 15, a pepper spray device 5, a visible laser light 4, a taser 12, and a clipboard and information holding system 20. The shield 100 also contains a speaker 7 capable of being used as a public address system, or for playing a pre-recorded message.

The shield 100 comprises a rectangularly shaped impact resistant panel which contains on its outer surface an outer panel 1. The outer panel 1 is made of a rigid, impact resistant material. From FIG. 1C it is apparent that the outer panel 1 has a slightly curved contour for the purposes of increasing its ability to deflect the force of a projectile.

As shown in FIGS. 1B-1C, the outer panel 1 has permanently attached to its inner surface an inner panel 2. The inner panel 2 is also made of an impact resistant material for the purposes of increasing the ability of the shield to stop a projectile, which may have entered one of the device ports on outer panel 1. The inner panel 2 encloses an open area 204 between the inner surface of inner panel 2 and the inner surface of outer panel 1. As shown in FIGS. 2A-2C, this open area 204 can contain a high output light 3, laser light 4, pepper spray 5, video camera 6, speaker port 7, taser 12, and a bionic ear 21. The visible laser 4 will be of such a range and color as to allow it to be used to determine the distance to a target and a correct firing area. It is to be noted that this listing of devices is not meant to be comprehensive, so that other devices could be included within the present invention. Also, various embodiments of the present invention may selectively omit some of these devices.

The outer panel I also has on its exterior surface an identification location area 8. This identification location area 8 is designed to have applied to its surface a reflective, high visibility decal for clearly identifying any person or agency carrying the shield. Within various Figures herein, the identification location area 8 shows the word “POLICE”. However, other words and symbols are also contemplated within the spirit and scope of the present invention, so that the present invention should not be considered as limited exclusively thereto.

Also as shown in FIG. 1A, the outer panel 1 has located on its upper portion a safe viewing port 9. The viewing port 9 is designed to allow an individual to view an area in front of the shield by looking through a clear impact resistant lens 9, which is shaped to allow video 6 and laser 4 to operate through them while still retaining the maximum capability of safety.

FIG. 2A shows the shield 100 as seen by the user from the interior. As shown in FIG. 2A, the inner surface of the inner panel 2 has a pivoting liquid crystal display 13 located on its upper portion. The liquid crystal display 13 allows viewing of the video camera 6 from the interior of the shield 100, while still protecting the viewer.

The back surface of the shield 100 has located at its approximate center a carrying arm-handle 14 and control mechanism 14-C. The carrying arm-handle 14 and control mechanism 14-C are designed to be easily changed from right to left hand carry, depending on the disposition of the user. As shown in FIG. 5B, this bi-dexterity is facilitated by a mount bar 14-A which allows the movement of arm-handle 14 by either a right or left-handed position. The ability to rotate and lock in two possible positions allows the arm-handle 14 to be utilized by either a right or left handed individual.

The arm-handle 14 can also have a variety of tilting positions. For example, a first position exists for the purposes of holding and controlling the shield 100. Separately, a second position allows that arm-handle 14 be pushed away from the user's hand and allows that hand total freedom of movement while the shield 100 is still clamped to the forearm.

As shown in FIGS. 8A-8E, hollow structures 14-E are built into the interior of the shield 100, so as to facilitate movement of the arm-handle 14 and the mount-bar 14-A, yet maintain a secure attachment of the arm-handle 14 to the shield 100.

The effect of the shield 100 clamping to the forearm is achieved by the use of forearm clamps 14-B. As shown in FIGS. 3A-3B, 4A, 4C, and 8A-8E, these clamps 14-B are permanently fixed in the depression 304 in the back of inner shield panel 2. The clamps 14-B are designed so that placing the forearm in the correct position and pressing toward the shield 100 or utilizing a control feature of control arm-handle 14, these clamps may be closed so that they firmly encircle the larger portion of a user's forearm. Also, for increased security, the clamps 14-B will grasp near the wrist area of a user. The amount of pressure applied by these clamps 14-B and their position can be controlled by the control mechanism 14-C. These clamps 14-B are also designed to hold the shield 100 in a position most suitable for use, but still be capable of allowing a user to easily and very quickly disengage from the shield 100 if necessary.

The arm-handle 14 and controls 14-C also act as a control mechanism for most of the devices that the shield can deploy.

The arm-handle 14 also has a weapons rest 15 (FIG. 2A) and a weapons laser site 15-A (FIG. 10A). The weapons rest 15 is designed in such a way that it telescopes out of the mount bar 14-A along the retractable slider (FIGS. 7D-7E), thereby giving it two positions. The first is a closed position in which it is retracted inside the visible area of the shield 100, and the second is an extended position in which the weapons rest 15 extends outward past the edge of the shield 100, as shown in FIG. 2A.

The weapon rest 15 is designed in such a way that when a weapon is placed in its trough 15-A, and the pressure sensor 15-E activated, the laser light 4 will be illuminated that has been sighted in conjunction with the weapon platform being used.

As shown in FIG. 10A, the weapon rest 15 is capable of rotary movement and has a ball type joint 15-C at its end that allows for a maximum range of motion, yet still stabilizing the platform for the purposes of aiming. This will allow a person carrying a long firearm, for example an M-16, to be able to place the weapon in the weapon rest 15 actively supporting it during fire, while still maintaining the ability to hold the shield in a stable position.

The weapon laser sight 15-D also has the virtue of allowing an aiming point, but also allowing a user to activate the liquid crystal display and live active video feed 6 to aim and fire a weapon from an extremely defensive concealed position. This position can be achieved by holding the shield in such an area that video display 6 allows them to visibly see where the weapon system has been aimed, thereby allowing a user to operate a weapon system in an offensive or defensive manner from a concealed position.

The pressure sensor at the base of the weapon rest 15 recognizes this action and closes by solenoid action a light gripper 15-B against it, thereby placing the in a secure position for the purposes

As shown in FIG. 2A, the inner side of the shield 100 has located on its upper centerline and lower centerline strap clips 11-A and 11-B. These strap clips 11-A and 11-B allow the attachment of the carrying strap 10 to the inner surface of the shield 100, so as to allow the user to carry the shield 100 with their hands free or to place the shield in a protective position across their back. The strap 10 may also be useful for mounting purposes.

The strap 10 may be designed in such a fashion that its length is controllable by a retractable device (not shown) that would allow for the concealment of the strap inside the shield itself and for the ability of the operator to quickly change the length of the strap or adjust the tension on the strap, for comfort and correct placement.

The weapons rest 15, in conjunction with laser sight 15-A, may allow the user to fire a weapons system by viewing the laser sight 15-A through the liquid crystal display 13.

As shown in FIG. 6A, a taser 12 is coupled to the taser laser sight 12-A. This allows for aiming and firing of the taser 12 from arm-handle 14 and control mechanism 14-C. Pepper spray 5 is also coupled to the taser-laser site 12-A and also controlled by arm-handle 14 and control mechanism 14-C. The pepper spray container itself is a rechargeable unit or an interchangeable pressurized cartridge that can be inserted through a corresponding replacement opening on the inside of inner shield 2 for routine maintenance, checkup and replacement of the pepper spray canister.

The arm-handle 14 and control mechanism 14-C are electrically integrated with the various devices described herein in such a way that these devices can be controlled and deployed from the arm-handle 14 and control mechanism 14-C. By virtue of the way they are attached to mount bar 14-A allow for the handle during carrying of the shield to be placed in a first position angled slightly toward the operator in a slightly ergonomic position allowing maximum gripping ability, yet still allowing free movement of the thumb for the purpose of operating the pressure switches on the top of control mechanism 14-C.

When pivoted into a second position, the arm-handle 14 allows for the hand to be utilized for other purposes, while still allowing full control of the shield 100 and its secure placement on the arm.

As shown in FIGS. 7A-7C, the control mechanism 14-C will allow the thumb of the user's hand to depress a series of recessed pressure switches designed to activate the various devices described herein. This control mechanism 14-C will be developed in such a way that a series of safety measures and escalation protocols are designed to minimize the possibility of accidental deployment of devices. For example, pressing a switch on the control mechanism 14-C could activate pepper spray 5, and also activate a coupled laser 5-A. However, the arm-handle 14 and control mechanism 14-C can also incorporate a safety protocol. For example, pressing a button once might remove a safety mechanism. Pressing a button twice might light one of the visible lasers or other devices.

A third press of a button could for example activate the pepper spray 5, and also keep the pepper spray 5 in a position in which the solenoid could be cycled on or off according to the needs of the operator. This would effectively be the same safety protocol set up for any other active system on the shield 100. For example, the taser 12 could operate similarly.

As shown in FIG. 6A, battery power packs 19 are located on the inner surface of the shield 100, and designed to allow quick interchange or charging of the DC power supplies that power the shield's electrical systems. These and other devices within the shield 100 can be accessed through a removable panel 24 (FIGS. 6A, 9).

As shown in FIGS. 2A-2C, a clipboard information system 20 is located on the interior surface of the shield 100 and allows the carrier to take notes or place reference materials nearby, by temporarily attaching it to this surface.

As shown at least in FIGS. 2A-6A, in the area 204 between outer panel 1 and inner panel 2 a bionic ear application 21 is located. The bionic ear 21 is an amplified listening system which contains various audio sensors that are placed on the external surface of the shield 100 and are connected to a sound amplification module located in the space 204 between 1 and 2. The information and amplified sound is relayed to item 21-A, which is an ear-fitting piece capable of fitting on the ear of a user. By receiving an amplified signal from 21, a user of the shield 100 can listen at a higher level than is capable with normal hearing.

The shield 100 may also be removed from a user's arm, placed in a strategic position, and left alone, thereby allowing a user to listen from a remote location that may be more safe. The arm-handle 14 and control mechanism 14-C have a locking and unlocking system which automatically engages when the shield 100 is removed by a user, and needs to be reset when the shield 100 is re-engaged upon the operator's arm. For example, the depressing of some of the basic control buttons on the control mechanism 14-C in a given pattern can unlock that mechanism, and allow the systems on it to be activated. This will ultimately be designed to prevent anyone but the qualified user from being able to activate any of the active systems on the shield as a safety measure.

It is anticipated that various changes may be made in the arrangement and operation of the system of the present invention without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined by the following claims.