A door standing in a parking lot isn’t much of an attention grabber.
But a door standing near – and delivered by – a massive, black Ford F-450 with a raised suspension and emblazoned with the name BEAST and an image of a charging rhino? That’s a good bet to have any passing law-enforcement types wanting to pull over to check it out.
And that was just the idea Wednesday as 5.11 Tactical parked the BEAST (Breaching Entry Assault System Trainer) outside Crescent Work & Outdoor at Eighth and H streets. When the morning rain passed, driver Tim Terry unloaded the 600-pound Multipurpose Training Door the BEAST was created to carry.
He spent the rest of the day leading demonstrations of the door – which helps train firefighters, law enforcement officers and other first responders – to local SWAT, K-9, street-crime and other units.
The steel door and frame help simulate a variety of conditions safety personnel could face when they need to breach a door, said Kelly Hatfield, Central California territory manager for 5.11 Tactical. It can be set up to be inward- or outward-swinging, can simulate increased fortification of a door by added deadbolts, and can simulate being in confined quarters, such as a door at the end of a narrow hallway.
An $8,000 training door is not the kind of thing agencies will just see online and decide to buy sight unseen, or untested, Hatfield said. That’s why 5.11 has had Terry taking it and the BEAST all around the country for a couple of years now.
In the Central Valley, the Fresno Police Department and the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department are the among the agencies that have bought a door to train officers.
5.11 Tactical is one of several businesses started by Modesto entrepreneur Dan Costa. In 2007, he sold the clothing and gear business for $300 million, five years after creating it as an offshoot of outdoor clothing seller Royal Robbins, which he had previously purchased.
The operations center for 5.11 remains in Modesto. Its development center is in Irvine.