The Fulton Police Department recently purchased new external vest carriers for officers to wear while on duty, which were purchased from our police endowment fund.
There has been a recent trend among many police departments with implementing these external vest carriers. Even though each departments needs are different, there are many advantages of switching to, or allowing outer vest carrier systems. We chose to change over to the external vest carrier, not only because they still look professional, but for many reasons.
A big reason and advantage as to why we changed was to lighten the load of our duty belt. Our vest carriers include attachments that allow us to hold our radio, flashlight, handcuffs, and magazines. From having this equipment on our vest, it not only helps with having easier access to the equipment, but it also helps with weight distribution. Any officer you talk to will tell you that by taking these items from off of a fully loaded duty belt is a tremendous amount of relief because we are taking a few pounds off of our waists. Many officers deal with lower back and hip pain issues from wearing a fully loaded duty belt over the years, so this vest carrier is a way to help alleviate that problem.
Another reason and advantage is comfort. Because the vest is worn outside of the uniform, it becomes easier to adjust throughout an officer’s tour of duty. We can work in areas that are particularly hot, but deemed secure, and remove the vest to provide relief.
We agreed upon and decided that the advantages and options provided by wearing an external vest carrier were simply too great to ignore. The attached pictures are of Officer Wherry displaying his new vests.
Lieutenant Donnie Pridemore.