Thirteen years of dedicated law enforcement and security duty turn Ohioan, Dave Krueger, into an entrepreneur with a passion for helping people.
The old saying “once a cop, always a cop” conjures up images of buzz haircuts, clipped speech, thumbs tucked in behind belts and a predilection to that circular confection known world-wide as a donut. But beyond that iconic image rests the real truth. Brothers and sisters in blue often retire or leave the force only to find ways to continue to connect and give back to law enforcement. All the “would-have, should-have, could-haves” combined with years of street presence creates a different cop, one that never leaves the force in spirit. One such cop is Dave Krueger. Throughout his thirteen-year career in law enforcement and as a Marine Patrol Officer, Dave saw it all, the best and worst of humanity.
As a Search and Rescue officer, Dave worked side-by-side with the local Coast Guard Station and when historic flooding hit the Ohio River in 1997, Dave was appalled at the lack of preparation residents had who lived in the flood zone. Panicked people, old and young, and pets were forced on their roofs where rescue operations could retrieve them. Relieved to be rescued, none of them were prepared for the often long wait until a rescue boat or helicopter could move them to safety. Dave had his first ah-ha moment then.
As a part-time police officer while serving on a domestic violence call, Dave suffered a career ending injury. Years from retirement, Dave took from his previous experience as a Search and Rescue and police officer and created his first entrepreneurial effort. With the memory of people stuck on roof tops for days on end, Dave created a portable “Survival Kit” designed to sustain four people for three days. With assistance from colleagues like a former SEAL officer and a retired Rescue Swimmer with the Coast Guard, the Survival Kit contained the essentials such as food, water, shelter, signal equipment and first aid items. The kit provided easily identifiable outside pockets for quick access during an emergency. Dave’s first company, World Prep Inc. was launched from his basement only to quickly require larger warehousing space.
9/11 was another pivotal moment for Dave’s fledgling company. While watching the disaster unfold on television, he saw video of a survivor emerging from the stricken building still clutching her purse. Dave thought, if she had enough mind to grab her purse, would people in these dire conditions grab something to help them “stack the odds in their favor?” Within two weeks of 9/11, Dave’s company offered the Evacuation Kit on their website. The kit was an instant hit and one of the world’s largest law firms ordered several thousand units for their offices across the globe. Terrorism was the new buzzword.
Ever vigilant, when the Iraq invasion occurred, Dave saw a call for hygiene materials from a local Sheriff’s office for deployed service personnel. Dave and his company put together a camouflaged hygiene kit that would include all the necessary items but be small enough to fit in the side pockets of their BDU’s. His company partnered with the USO to supply troops as they were deploying and also with the Wounded Warrior Project for private labeled kits. For fifteen years, Dave and his company, World Prep, aimed to help citizens, law enforcement and military be better prepared for any disaster, great or small. After developing over 45 products for nine different markets, Dave sold his company.
His newest ah-ha moment came while watching his evening news in which police were pursuing a fleeing subject in a car. The police immobilized the vehicle but the suspect refused to leave the vehicle. The scenario that followed is still always one of the most dangerous situation for officers to find themselves in, where one wrong move can get them killed. In order to break the side door glass, the officer had to expose himself to potential gunfire. Dave saw a resolution and it came in the form of the X-Ball™, a unique extraction ball that can be attached to a fiberglass extension pole or thrown into glass, thus keeping officers out of potential danger.
The X-Ball can be used by law enforcement, military, fire and rescue personnel. The extraction device can be attached to a tactical vest or used on its fiberglass pole. Weighing less than 1 lb. it allows firefighters the ability to keep a distance from flames during an extraction, as well as allowing other public safety personnel to maintain a defensive position from a distance. It is designed to penetrate most glass except for laminated glass, as in a windshield yet is highly effective on side door automobile glass.
Dave is currently working on another relevant product, this time aimed specifically at the women’s market by providing women with the tools to deter an aggressor. Never one to rest on his laurels, his latest company Uniqative, which is a blend of that which is unique and innovative, hence “Uniqative” will continue to produce products geared toward helping people and professionals make the best out of life’s sometimes most dire situations.