Spotlight: BRB Designs hopes to save officer lives with new shield
The company introduces the Riggs Shield to remedy the increase of ambush shootings of officers
BRB Designs LLC manufactures the Riggs Shield™, which was invented after a friend of the founder was shot sitting in his patrol car. As a law enforcement officer, BRB CEO Robert Riggs started thinking there had to be a better way to protect officers in their cars, so he invented the Riggs Shield™, a ballistic shield you can use to protect your head and neck while you are seated in the vehicle.
Where did your company name originate from?
I’m a father that is very proud of my three children. I named my company BRB Designs using the first initials of my children’s names. I’m building this company so they will have a better future, so I think it is only fitting that it is named after them. As for the shield name, I’m very proud of my product and felt that putting my name on it would show just how much I believe in it.
What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
As police officer, I have seen several shootings where the officer was ambushed while seated in their patrol car. When it happened to a close friend of mine, in my patrol area, I decided to buy a product to help protect my head and neck while I was in my patrol car. I could not find anything on the market that would do what I wanted, so I built the Riggs Shield. After a year and a half of designing and testing, I’m very proud of what I have created.
Why do you believe your products are essential to the police community?
There has been a huge increase in officer shootings over the past few years, and ambush-style shooting has been the most fatal kind of shooting for the past two years. I know if my shield gets out in the field in large numbers, it will save officers’ lives.
What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?
Starting a company from scratch and developing a new product is very difficult, especially while I’m still working patrol, but I know it will be worth all of the hard work when the first officer is saved by my shield.
What makes your company unique?
I think being a police officer and working patrol while designing my product makes my company unique. I understand how the shield will be used and have tested it myself on patrol.
What do your customers like best about you and your products?
My customers have provided me with a lot of very positive feedback. The three things I hear most often is: (1) they like how fast the shield can be pulled off its mount to provide protection for their head, (2) they like the fact that it is always available right where they need it, and (3) they feel more prepared to protect themselves while in their vehicles. The Riggs Shield™ is made from a UL-listed Level III ballistic composite material which is rated to stop up to .44 Magnum, 240 grain, pistol rounds. The ballistics composite material is enclosed in a tight CORDURA® Nylon fabric cover to help improve the material’s edge strength and provide padding for the user’s arm.
What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
Knowing that my product is going to save the lives of my fellow officers, and when it does, those officers will be able to go home to their families.
Do you support any charitable organizations within public safety?
I have had friends killed in the line of duty, so I support my local Officer Down Foundation. I believe the support they provide the families of fallen officers is very important.
Is there any fun fact or trivia that you’d like to share with our users about you or your company?
I just want everybody know that 100% of my shields are made in the USA. I have worked very hard to keep the cost down to a point that officers can purchase my product for themselves, but hope departments will recognize the need for my shield and outfit their fleets.
What’s next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?
I’m working on a training program that departments can use to teach their officers how to shoot and defend themselves while holding the Riggs Shield. I will be posting training videos on my website very soon.