ORANGE, NJ — Mayor Dwayne D. Warren has announced that Orange police officers will be the first in New Jersey to be issued protective headgear from Unequal Unhelmet EXO.
“The continued police encounters in other major cities are experiencing head injuries, with the most recent being an NYPD officer who, while serving a warrant, got hit in the head with a chair, resulting in a coma,” Warren said in a recent press release. “We decided to take decisive action and are outfitting our officers with a protective casing for their uniform-issued baseball caps.”
The decision to obtain protective headgear was set into motion two to three months ago by police Director Todd R. Warren, who traveled to the Unequal Corporate Headquarters in Glen Mills, Pa., on Friday, Aug. 30.
“It’s also important to note this is not a helmet, but a protective lining under their hats, so officers can continue to engage with our community without creating any unnecessary concerns from residents,” the mayor said.
According to the press release, from observing The Unequal Uncap Exo, the new protective headgear has a hard lime green lining, which fits comfortably under their standard uniform baseball hats, which helps protect the heads of officers from accidents, such as collisions and falls, as well as objects being thrown at them.
“The new protective head gear is hard enough to withstand being hit with a pipe, a baseball bat or a chair,” Todd Warren said during a phone interview with the Record-Transcript on Thursday, Nov. 21.
“We protect our police officers with ballistic vests to protect the torso and bodies, but their heads are completely exposed because they typically only wear baseball caps,” Dwayne Warren said in the press release. “The headgear is an extension of the body armor that our officers presently wear to protect themselves. We needed to protect the heads of our brave men and women who serve our public.”
The Unequal Uncap Exo has patented dual protection that helps subdue impact from blunt objects, and features a military-grade composite engineered to protect against enhanced impact and blunt force encounters.
When asked about the new headgear, Orange Communications Director Keith Royster said, “It’s state-of-the-art,” in a phone interview on Wednesday, Nov. 20. “It features the same material used to protect soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s military grade.”
The protective headgear usually costs $100 per cap, but will come to $80 with a law enforcement discount; 141 Unequal Uncap Exo protective headgear were ordered for a staff of 141 officers in Orange. According to Royster, the headgear has arrived, so every city officer should soon be outfitted.
“I feel relieved and I feel confident that our officers are going to be safe while on duty,” Todd Warren said. “Now, the potential for harm has lessened because we were proactive in obtaining this product to keep them safe.”
“We are proud to be protecting those that protect us,” Rob Vito, Unequal chief executive officer, said in a press release. “The EXO will give the police an edge and confidence, knowing they are protected.”