CADDO PARISH, La. (KSLA) - Most officers in law enforcement are carrying nearly 20 pounds of equipment around their waist — but one local sheriff’s office has found a way to ease that burden.
The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office recently purchased new uniforms, buying 80 vests for their patrol deputies.
“We wanted to look at something different,” said Sheriff Steve Prator. “We wanted to find something that we could have our bulletproof panels inside yet carry the equipment on the outside."
These vests aren’t cheap though. Prator says one vest cost $700. The department was able to pay for the vests using a $40,000 grant and their enrichment fund which is money seized through narcotics raids.
CPSO spent a year testing out different vests that would help hold most of the equipment deputies carry on their belts.
“Things can (come) off your belt, and the vests — it’s velcroed on very securely and it’s not going to come out unless you want it to come out.”
Deputy Rufus Porter recently received his new vest last week and says he’s already feeling the difference.
“It was a hassle because everything that you see on me is right on the waistline so it’s kind of rough on the lower back,” he said. “Now you kind of disperse that throughout your body and it’s like a big help.”
Porter says driving his patrol unit is much easier now because all of that equipment is not sitting on his lower back.
CPSO is looking to purchase more vests so they can have up to 120 for their deputies.