Laguna 3P History

Laguna 3P got started by an inventor who wanted to solve the problem of prisoners kicking the windows out of police cars

Laguna Manufacturing was founded in 1992 in Turlock, California as a hobby for Ralph Harpster and his wife Marlita Fitzpatrick.

Ralph started working on his restraint system after speaking casually with the local police chief in Turlock. They discussed a problem the department was having; prisoners in their vehicles kept kicking the windows out of the cars. Ralph, being an inventor and retired manufacturer, told the chief he’d help figure out a way to solve the issue.

Laguna Leg Bar Restraint System

Ralph designed a leg bar restraint similar to a roller coaster leg bar that was compatible with factory seats and molded seats in police vehicles. The majority of vehicles were still using fabric seats at the time, and so Ralph decided to create a more effective plastic seat to work with his restraint system concept. The combination of his contoured seat design and leg bar invention made it nearly impossible for a prisoner to escape the system he designed; later to be known as the Laguna Leg Bar Restraint System.

The success of this first product prompted Ralph and Marlita to come out of retirement and open Laguna Manufacturing, supplying restraint systems to law enforcement agencies across the nation. The company grew much larger than either of the founders expected, transforming Ralph’s garage ideas into a full-scale operation selling to hundreds of agencies throughout the United States within the first few years.

In the late 90s, Ralph made a new improvement to vehicle restraint systems with the original Laguna Belt System. He created a seat belt that worked in reverse of OEM belts, an outboard system that allowed officers to secure a prisoner without leaning over them. Ralph battled with the NHTSA for years before the safety administration agreed to allow the system within their regulations.

Law enforcement agencies across the nation use Laguna’s Transport Seat System

Thirty years later Laguna Manufacturing is still thriving, our dearly missed founders may not be with us today, but their vision and principles are. We at Laguna 3P keep officer safety at the forefront of our minds. We continue to thrive on improving current offerings and creating new concepts the same way our founders did, never sacrificing safety or quality in any of our products.

Chris Bailey

Laguna 3P History photo of Ralph and Marlita
The leg bar restraint system

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