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During testing, the researchers saw that the shield successfully stopped bullets from 9 mm, .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum pistols. Getty Images

A team of Brigham Young University (BYU) engineering professors has created a lightweight bulletproof shield inspired by an origami crease pattern, which is a Japanese folding technique, designed to protect law enforcement from gunfire.

The shield, which does not prevent one from performing other tasks, can be folded compactly when not in use. It is made of 12 layers of bulletproof Kevlar – and it only takes five seconds to deploy. However, the main attraction is that it protects officers from bullets coming from several types of handguns.

"We worked with a federal special agent to understand what their needs were, as well as SWAT teams, police officers and law enforcement, and found that the current solutions are often too heavy and not as portable as they would like," said Larry Howell, professor of mechanical engineering at BYU. "We wanted to create something that was compact, portable, lightweight and worked really well to protect them."

"It goes from a very compact state that you can carry around in the trunk of a car to something you can take with you, open up and take cover behind to be safe from bullets," said Terri Bateman, BYU adjunct professor of engineering and research team member. "Then you can easily fold it up and move it if you need to advance your position."

During testing, the researchers saw that the shield successfully stopped bullets from 9 mm, .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum pistols.

"Those are significant handguns with power," Howell said. "We suspected that something as large as a .44 Magnum would actually tip it over, but that didn't happen. The barrier is very stable, even with large bullets hitting it."

It is currently still in prototype form and not in use by any law enforcement agencies. Although, Howell and Bateman have tested it with officers on site. So far, they have received a positive response. The team also believed that the barrier could protect children in schools and wounded people during emergencies.

"There are a lot of risks to law personnel and we feel like this particular product can really make a difference and save a lot of lives," Bateman said. "It makes us feel like we're really making a difference in the world."

People also took to Facebook to express their thoughts on the shield, some liked the idea, others not so much.

"Love it effective and portable," user Mark Huddleston, "wrote.

"Great a new way police can be safe from their unchecked brutality," wrote another.

And there were those who were simply unimpressed.

"Interesting but until it stops 50 cal rounds its not that great. Still better than nothing," wrote Joshua Kozlowski on Facebook.

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