Deputies with the Orange County Sheriff's Office are getting the opportunity to see if wearing load-bearing vests—in lieu of traditional duty belts—helps them to eliminate or at least alleviate pain associated with carrying a lot of extra weight around the mid-section of the body.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the agency began researching the duty gear alternative late last year and eventually decided to order a dozen load-bearing vests for deputies to try out and report on their results.
The vests—made by Point Blank Enterprises—will carry back-up magazines, handcuffs, radio, pepper spray, baton, flashlight and tourniquets. The sidearm and TASER will remain on the belt.
Many officers and deputies across the country suffer from chronic back and hip pain largely attributed to duty belts, which can weigh up to 30 pounds.