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Feds preparing for possible riots at conventions, presidential inauguration or elsewhere

Thigh and groin
protector from
Hatch Corp.

It looks as if the Federal Protective Service is gearing up for the potential of significant riots at some combination of the Republican National Convention, the Democratic National Convention, the 2013 presidential inauguration and other major events in the future, with its planned procurement of about 150 sets of riot helmets, thigh and groin protectors, hard shell shin guards and other “riot gear.”

The Federal Protective Service, which protects buildings, grounds and property that are owned, occupied or secured by the federal government, put a small business set-aside solicitation on the street on July 25 and gave prospective suppliers only one day to submit their fast-track proposals, and only 15 days after an award is made to deliver the riot gear to Alexandria, VA.

Press accounts emanating from Tampa, FL, the site of the Republican National Convention scheduled for Aug. 27-30, have envisioned crowds of protestors assembling during the convention and described how the local police plan to close certain roads in the vicinity of the convention sites to thwart would-be rioters.

The chief procurement officer of DHS, on behalf of the Federal Protective Service, has issued a solicitation that seeks “brand name or equal” products of the following types:

  • 147 riot helmets which must have an “adjustable tactical face shield with liquid seal” and be able to fit the “3M Full Face Respirator FR-M40B masks.”
  • 147 sets of upper body and shoulder protection – which will “effectively protect the torso and shoulders from blunt force trauma” and “safely absorb blows delivered from blunt objects…”
  • 152 sets of thigh and groin protection – which “protects the thigh area and has an adjustable and removable groin protector.”
  • 147 hard shell shin guards – which can provide “substantial protection from flying debris, non-ballistic weapons, and blows to the leg” and should have an “optimized protective design for severe riot control or tactical situations.”
  • 156 forearm protectors – which should shield the “entire forearm from the wrist to the elbow” and weigh approximately six ounces.
  • 147 pairs of tactical gloves – which should ensure that the “Kevlar on back of hands is flame/flash retardant as well as cut protective” and that they utilize a “rolled finger tip design for excellent trigger sensitivity and fit.”

Most of this equipment probably will be Centurion brand gear supplied by Hatch Corp., of Ontario, CA, which describes its thigh and groin protection system on its Website: “Designed to complement the Centurion Upper Body Chest and Shoulder Protection System, it was specifically designed for blunt trauma protection during riot control situation,” says Hatch Corp. “It protects the thigh area and has an adjustable and removable groin protector.”

The FPS is likely to purchase the Max Pro-Police Bell RD-TAC Riot Helmet, or the equivalent, according to the solicitation.

“The objective of this effort is to procure riot gear for the 2012 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, the 2012 Presidential Inauguration and other future similar activities,” explains the solicitation.

Additional information is available from Scott Williams, area commander for the Federal Protective Service, at 703-235-6091 or scott.alan.williams@dhs.gov