Metro Detroiter designs bulletproof hat
You’ve heard of a bullet-proof vest and other bullet-proof gear worn by police and other law enforcement in potentially violent situations. Now a new product is about to hit the bullet-proof market: a bullet-proof baseball cap designed right here in Metro Detroit.
The man behind it believes not only can it save lives, but also potentially help keep protests against law enforcement more peaceful than what we’ve seen in the past. It looks just like your ordinary baseball cap. But don’t be fooled, it’s the latest in bullet-proof technology.
“It’s very discreet,” said Tom Nardone. “It is a bullet-proof baseball cap. It’s meant to be worn by police officers and security guards, people who want protection from bullets. It protects the front of your head right here.”
Nardone is the owner of Bullet Safe, a Troy company specializing in bullet-proof vests and ballistic plates. A bullet-proof baseball cap would be the first of its kind.
“No one’s ever asked for this,” said Nardone. “We wanted to have friendly protection,” friendlier than the images he remembers seeing of police in riot gear trying to calm protesting crowds in Ferguson, Missouri.
Nardone set out to develop a product that could offer protection while still appearing less threatening.
“I’m not a big fan of ballistic helmets,” Nardone explained. “I think they sort of ratchet up the violence. It doesn’t look so friendly.”
And from there the bullet-proof baseball cap was born.
“It’s a friendly looking hat. I mean I can put one on. You know it just looks like a hat,” he said.
“I think that when you approach a police officer on the street or something like this and he just looks like a regular person I think there’s a lot more opportunity to interact with that person. When you put on a ballistic helmet, you’ve basically told people that you’ve given up on the peace process.”
Nardone sought out estimates for the products costs on a bullet-proof baseball cap and took his idea to the Internet.
He started a Kickstarter campaign hoping to raise $3,500. So many people were interested in the cap that he raised nearly $12,000. The next step was testing the product and making sure it meets bullet-proof standards.
With his protective gear on, Local 4’s Evrod Cassimy put Nardone’s prototype to the test. On closer inspection the hat seems to have worked but there’s still further testing that must be done before it is available for sale to the general public.
The first people Nardone would like to see wearing them are the men and women patrolling the streets of Detroit.
“We want all the officers to be safe,” Nardone said. “That’s what I work for everyday so that would be fantastic.”
The bullet-proof baseball cap has a removable bullet proof plate that sits in the front of the hat. It will be available this November, retailing for $129 and is not just limited to law enforcement.
For more information: http://www.bulletsafe.com.
Two women murdered in Inkster
The Inkster Police Department and Michigan State Police are gathering evidence from a home in the 27000 block of Florence.
Sources tell Local 4 two women were found deceased inside the home.
Investigators said they were shot and killed. No arrests have been made, but police told Local 4’s Will Jones they are following strong leads and do not believe this was a random shooting.
A family member of the woman who lived at the house where the crime happened said the victim has five children.
MISSING: Detroit police looking for Sharnique Smith, 16
Detroit police are asking the public for help in locating a missing 16-year-old girl.
Sharnique Smith was last seen at 7 a.m. Feb. 13 in the 2000 block of W. Grand Blvd by her mother when she was dropped off for school.
Sharnique’s mother says she has not heard from her since.
She is described as a 5 feet 6 inch black female, weighing about 170 pounds. Sharnique has a medium complexion with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue shirt and khaki pants.
According to police she is in good physical condition, but she suffers from depression.
Anyone with information should contact Detroit police at (313) 596-5300.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Digital Producer of The Morning Heat and Sports Editor of Radio One Detroit
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