Queensland police officers are set to be issued with new integrated load bearing vests in what is being hailed as a major safety boost for the Australian police service.
The Queensland Police Service (QPS) will begin receiving 12,200 integrated load bearing vests from December 2021.
These new vests will largely replace the existing 4750 ballistic plates and vests currently in use by the QPS.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Matthew Vanderbyl from the Organisational Capability Command said the new vests would significantly boost officer safety.
“The current plates and vests are not personal issue and are instead allocated to police vehicles for crews to use.”
“This new acquisition will instead ensure each officer has their own individual vest which will enhance officer safety,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Vanderbyl said.
He said the current plates and vests were nearing the end of their operational use but that the QPS had adequate supplies to ensure officer safety before the new acquisition takes effect.
The QPS has 800 replacement plates in reserve and 1400 new plates are on order and expected to be operational in two weeks.
The QPS has also engaged a NATA accredited laboratory to test current plates and provide expert advice on their longevity.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Vanderbyl said the laboratory testing had been arranged to give the QPS an assurance of continued safe operation of the current plate fleet until the new acquisition takes effect.