Front and back view of vest shown above. >> See more photos and download
(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / December 4, 2019) — Starting this week, the public may notice Stillwater Police officers wearing new gear. Officers are testing and evaluating new external vest carriers that have attachments for a variety of pouches that allow officers to move equipment from their belts to the carriers.
According to Chief of Police Jeff Watts, “Over the years, the amount of crime-fighting and lifesaving equipment that officers have to carry on their person has increased. Right now, most officers carry 20-plus pounds of gear on their belts. This includes handcuffs, radio, Tasers, pepper spray, baton, handgun, ammo, flashlight, tourniquet and more.”
The weight of the current belts can also lead to back pain for the officers, which is also a concern.
By transitioning some of the equipment to the external vest carriers, officers will be able to make better use of where they store and how they access their equipment.
Watts also pointed out that the external carrier holds the officer's concealable body armor. “By moving the body armor to the carrier, officers can unzip the carrier to allow them to cool off after being exposed to high temperatures during the summer months. Another benefit is they will be able to remove the vest in an emergency, such as a water rescue. “
Officers will test the carriers and provide feedback over the next six to nine months. If it is decided external carriers benefit the officers' health, safety, and efficiency, SPD will move forward with a budget request to outfit additional officers. The current cost for an external carrier and pouches is approximately $370 per officer.
For questions, contact Public Information Officer Kyle Gibbs at email@example.com or call 405.742.8318.
For media inquiries, contact the Department of Marketing and Civic Engagement at 405.742.8219 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.