Victoria Police has begun deploying new ballistic vests to police officers in the field.
Over the next two years, Victoria Police will roll out more than 14,000 of the new look ballistic vests to all police officers, Protective Services Officers (PSOs) and Police Custody Officers (PCOs) to replace current vests.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Nigel Howard said the new vests have been developed to improve officer safety and will align with modern police work and current technologies.
“Our police officers, PSOs and PCOs all had a role to play in developing these new vests, so we know they’re fit for purpose and meet the requirements of modern policing,” A/AC Howard said.
“The new vests are lighter, allow for greater thermal management and improved freedom of movement with increased adjustability.
“We’ve also designed these vests to be future proofed by incorporating better integration with modern policing equipment such as the body worn cameras.
“This is a further step towards modernising Victoria Police and ensuring our officers are equipped with the mechanisms required to perform their duties with safety, comfort and security at the forefront.”
As well as a change from navy blue to black, other changes include:
• Safe and streamlined access to equipment
• Improved freedom of movement
• Lighter in weight
• Thermal management to adapt to both warm and cold temperatures
The first vests are being issued to officers in the following areas:
• Yarra Ranges
• Greater Dandenong
• Bass Coast
• Melbourne West
Recruits graduating from the Academy from September onwards will also be equipped with the new vest.