My Company Makes Body Armor for Police Officers. When This Happened, My Whole Business Strategy Changed.

When I was 17, I founded a company to save police officers’ lives. We distribute and manufacture body armor and other protective equipment. And yet, I will admit: For the first eight years, this work felt abstract — like watching war unfold on the nightly news. I understood its importance, of course, but it wasn’t personal.

Then, an officer in a nearby town was killed. It changed everything.

His name was Louis Pompei. He was 30 years old, served in Glendora, California, and was killed while off duty, as he heroically tried to stop a grocery store holdup. We’d never met, but we had many mutual friends. When some of them invited us to his funeral, my wife, Melissa, and I immediately accepted.

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