More than 14,000 new ballistic vests will be rolled out across the police force to improve personal safety and meet the demands of modern policing, funded by the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Police Lisa Neville today announced Melbourne-based Australian Defence Apparel (ADA) had been awarded the tender for the new vests after a successful trial.
The Labor Government invested almost $36 million for the vests as part of its $596 million Public Safety Package.
The vests have been developed in direct consultation with frontline officers to improve their personal safety, comfort and mobility, and have a high standard of ballistic and spike protection.
The light-weight vests provide improved access to equipment, better movement, more secure fit and have thermal management to adapt to both warm and cold temperatures.
The new vests are part of the Labor Government’s ongoing investment in cutting-edge technology for Victoria Police, with 11,000 new hi-tech body-worn cameras and 10,000 mobile devices being rolled out to police officers across the state.
The vests provide a simple and secure attachment for the body-worn cameras and have also been designed with a special pocket for the mobile devices.
These mobile devices give police faster access to information out in the field, including capturing evidence and performing identity checks, rather than having to return to the office.
All uniform officers will be equipped with the new vests, along with Protective Services Officers, Police Custody Officers, Highway Patrol, Crime Scene Services, investigators and the Mounted Branch.
The Labor Government is delivering an unprecedented $2 billion to Victoria Police to fund 3,135 new police, more PSOs, upgraded facilities and equipment, new powers and laws to reduce harm to keep our community safe.
The former Liberal Government failed to invest in one single additional officer, cut $100 million from the Victoria Police budget and slashed 350 Victoria Police staff.
The additional resources are already making a difference with the crime rate across Victoria falling seven per cent according to independent data from Crime Statistics Agency.
As noted by Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“We’re working closely with Victoria Police to fund the equipment police officers need to stay safe as they go about the important jobs of protecting Victorians, solving crime and reducing harm across our state.”
“These vests have already been tested in the field and provide increased movement, improved access to equipment and are more comfortable to wear in a vehicle.”
“We’ve been equipping police with new technology and equipment, including body-worn cameras, and these new vests will cater for those technological advances and the demands of modern policing.”