MONTVILLE, NJ – There’s nothing quite like the stink of a bullet-proof vest, according to Lt. Thomas Norton.
Norton, who is on the NJ Park Police force, says it’s like wearing a plastic bag in 95° weather.
“The liner is something you can wash, with the Kevlar inside,” he recently told TAPinto Montville. “But it’s absorbent, and it smells like the worst kind of cheese. Then cops don’t want to wear something that saves their lives, because it stinks so badly.”
Norton and his wife, Lorenza Vidris, live in Pine Brook, and the pair joked that when he came home, she would yell across the house, “You took off your vest, didn’t you? I can smell it all the way over here. Put it in the garage!”
Norton said that he and other law enforcement officers try to line the armor with dryer sheets, try spraying it with Lysol or Febreeze or sprinkling it with corn starch.
“But none of that works, and Lysol voids the warranty on the vest,” he said.
So the pair turned to a friend who is a chemist, who formulated what the pair has dubbed “ArmorPur.” They started selling the liquid as a spray and a laundry wash at trade shows and at the Police Unity Tour, a yearly bicycle ride from Florham Park to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. in May.
“People come from around the world to participate and be together for four days in D.C.,” Vidris said. “There are events during that entire week, which is called Police Week. People ride in memory of fallen officers and raise money for those families.”
In talking to other law enforcement officers, Norton said, he discovered that there’s no other product like theirs on the market.
“We knew that it was special, and we also realized it was good for other items such as Uggs boots, and hockey equipment,” he said. “The sweat gets into the fabric and then dries, but once it gets wet again, the bacteria makes the item smell again. But our product solves that.”
“We’ve even talked to motorcycle riders who use it for their gear,” Vidris said.
People who have tried the product have been enthusiastic about it, including Patrolman Shawn Holland of the Milltown Police Department and his wife Leslie. Shawn had done a couple of Police Unity Tours with Norton, he said, and started using ArmorPur for his vest with good results.
Leslie said her son has been playing lacrosse for six years and everything she tried didn’t get the smell out of his equipment until she found the ArmorPur and tried it.
Norton and Vidris work together in the business; Vidris said her husband lends credibility and she works on the web page, graphics, packaging, and order fulfillment.
“The company gets bigger every year,” she said.
Sign up to receive FREE TAPinto news in your email inbox: www.tapinto.net/enews