Law Enforcement Officials Call For Creation Of Bulletproof Sleeves

In This Section

Vol 41 Issue 03

White House Dishwasher Tenders Resignation

WASHINGTON, DC—T. Eric Mayhew, 36, who began working in the White House kitchen the day President George W. Bush took office, submitted his resignation Monday. "The noble work of dishwashing preceded my appointment to this job and will continue long after I leave," Mayhew said. "It was an honor to serve under the president. I leave my post proudly, knowing the White House flatware is more sanitary today than it was when I began my work here." Mayhew will maintain his position until Bush appoints a replacement.

Mets Earmark $53 Million For Pitching Relief

NEW YORK—Following a stormy 2004 season that some observers called nothing short of a disaster, the New York Mets have addressed the tidal wave of criticism by earmarking more than $53 million to pitching relief. "We're doing all we can to salvage what's left of our team in this emergency situation," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said of his team, which signed pitcher Pedro Martinez in recent weeks. "We ask that everyone say a prayer for us as we attempt to rebuild this once-thriving franchise." The Mets also signed outfielder Carlos Beltran, dedicating $117 million to shore up a defense that has recently been flooded with runs.

Caged Saddam To Be Highlight Of Inaugural Ball

WASHINGTON, DC—Attendees at the Independence Ball, one of nine officially sanctioned galas celebrating President George W. Bush's second inauguration Thursday, will be treated to a viewing of a caged Saddam Hussein, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said Monday. "What better way to honor the president than with a physical symbol of his many first-term triumphs?" McClellan said as Hussein rattled the bars of a cage already suspended above the ballroom where the event will be held. "And I must compliment the planning committee. Outfitting Gitmo detainees with iron collars and forcing them to serve appetizers was an inspired stroke." Ball attendees will also be awarded door prizes, including a basket of nuts, 20 yards of cloth, and a barrel of crude oil.

Georgia's Evolution Stickers

Last week, a U.S. district judge ordered a Georgia school district to remove stickers reading, "Evolution is a theory, not a fact" from its textbooks. What do you think?

Junk Yardin'

Hola, amigos. I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I've had a fistful of problems lately. I had to beg Ron for a second chance at the crappy carbonics plant. That sucked, first because I hate begging, and second because I hate begging Ron. I had to remind him of the time I pulled this guy with a USMC tattoo off of him after he got too friendly with the marine's woman. I was hoping to cash that favor in for something good, instead I had to waste it on a job.

Supreme Court To Break Up If Rehnquist Leaves

WASHINGTON, DC—Responding to widespread speculation, members of the U.S. Supreme Court told reporters Monday that they will not continue to hear cases if Chief Justice William Rehnquist, 80, steps down.
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Family

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

Energy

Law Enforcement Officials Call For Creation Of Bulletproof Sleeves

DETROIT—Citing decades of advancements in torso protection, the National Association of Law Enforcement Officials held a press conference Monday, calling for the development of a bulletproof sleeve.

A computer representation of the theoretical sleeves.

"Since 1975, the modern Kevlar bulletproof vest has been an integral part of the protective gear worn by police officers," said NALEO spokesman Sgt. Nicholas Arons, an 18-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department. "For some reason, however, both private- and public-sector forces have spent the past 30 years focusing their creative energies on the development of newer, lighter fabrics to protect the same limited portion of the upper body. While safeguarding the torso is extremely important, it's time we began to think about what might be done to protect some other body parts."

According to Arons, two key areas overlooked by the protection industry are the left and right arms.

"We believe a bulletproof sleeve, if properly designed, could protect the shoulder, upper arm, elbow, and lower arm regions," said Arons, who lost both his forearms in a narcotics raid in October. "An officer wearing one of these devices on each arm would find himself doubly protected."

Arons characterized the arms as "crucial" to the successful completion of a police officer's duties.

"Police officers use their arms hundreds of times every day," Arons said. "If they didn't have arms, officers would be unable to brandish or discharge firearms, handcuff perpetrators, operate doors, write speeding tickets, or file reports. A policeman's arms and attached appendages are essential."

NALEO advisory board member Lt. Lee Skille agreed, stating that the standard-issue upper-body protection armor has significant shortcomings.

Two NYPD officers patrol attempt to protect their arms through means other than bulletproof sleeves.

"People say, 'You can live without your arms, but you can't live without your chest,'" said Skille, whose partner's arm was shot in the line of duty in 2003. "True. But try not using your arms for a day, and then come and tell me how arms aren't a 'vital organ.'"

Skille said he does not know how a bulletproof sleeve would be anchored onto the body, but that "in a perfect world, the sleeve would attach to the vest."

In response to the announcement, representatives for domestic defense contractor FirstShield said they plan to develop a marketable bulletproof sleeve by the end of the year. The company's 2004 prototype ArmVest failed in initial testing, because of complaints that the two 34-inch-wide ArmVests impeded movement and were prone to falling off. FirstShield is now investigating the practicality of using snaps, zippers, and Velcro to anchor the vest to the body.

FirstShield CEO Alastair Gilbert pledged "to redouble efforts to design a product that meets the arm-protection needs of today's 21st-century police force."

"While we might not get there in our first hundred days, or even our first thousand, we have risen to this challenge," Gilbert said. "Anyone who puts in 25 years with a police force deserves to have a wrist to put his gold watch on."

While the law-enforcement community is largely united over the bulletproof-sleeves initiative, the announcement did have a few detractors.

"Maybe the NALEO nancy-boys have never taken a bullet in the rear end," said Gary, IN police officer Bernard Dirkson, who was shot twice in the buttocks during a routine traffic stop in 2002. "But it's no stroll on the beach, I assure you. I challenge the defensive-apparel industry to take the next major step in protective gear: Protect our hindquarters."

Arons said the NALEO plans to look beyond the upper body.

"By the end of the century, a police officer might be equipped with some form of protection for his legs," Arons said. "Of course, right now we're focused on achieving our first goal—guarding the arms."

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More