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  1. #1
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Lester Shubin, Developer of the Kevlar Vest and Drug/Explosive-Sniffing Dogs, Dies

    Lester Shubin, developer of Kevlar vest -- chicagotribune.com

    Among Lester Shubin's Many Innovations: The Kevlar Vest, Which Has Saved 3,000 Police Office Lives, and Drug/Explosive Sniffing Dogs.

    WASHINGTON -- Lester Shubin, the Justice Department researcher who turned a DuPont fabric intended for tires into the first truly effective bulletproof vests, died Nov. 20 after a heart attack at his Virginia home. He was 84.

    Mr. Shubin was working at the National Institute for Justice, the research and development branch of the Justice Department, in the early 1970s when DuPont came out with a fabric that was to replace steel-belting on high-speed tires.

    ...

    Nicholas Montanarelli obtained a couple of samples of what Mr. Shubin called "this funny yellow fabric," and the men took it and some handguns to a firing range.

    ...

    Using federal money, 500 vests were made to be given away. But many police departments wouldn't take them, and those that did had trouble persuading street cops to use them -- until 1975. That was the year a Seattle police officer wearing a Kevlar vest walked in on an armed robbery in a convenience store and was shot at point-blank range.

    He survived to complain about doctors who kept him in the hospital over Christmas Eve because they found it hard to believe that he had only bruises.

    ...

    Mr. Shubin also was among the first people to suggest that law enforcement use dogs to find explosives. Skepticism about bomb-sniffing dogs evaporated after an incident at the 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami: A dog pawed at a wall and found a spent cartridge from a rivet gun. About the same time, another dog found a bomb on an American Airlines flight in New York, and a third found $100 million in heroin.

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    Rest in peace.

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    "It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
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