Load Bearing Duty Vests VS. Traditional Duty Belts
When I went through academy, we were required to wear a traditional duty belt. Right before I went into academy, I threw out my back, one of the most common medical injuries that happen in the law enforcement and the private security sector. I kept up with all of my physical rehabilitation to keep my back from hurting, but it still hurts every now and again. Now I carry the usual equipment that most law enforcement agencies carry: a firearm, extra magazines, baton, pepper spray, taser, double pair of handcuffs, flashlight, radio, and rubber gloves. I have since invested in my health: I get regular massages and work out at the gym to keep my core strong.
THE PROBLEM WITH A DUTY BELT
The big difference between law enforcement and private security is the type of duties. With law enforcement, you are in a patrol vehicle, depending on the department, protecting a city, county or section of the state. Law enforcement is going from call to call in a vehicle. During that time that you are in that vehicle, you are giving your back a rest from the 30 pounds of gear that you are carrying to protect the public with. Security, mostly is a stationary job. The client that has employed to have security, is wanting an extra kept eye on their property or asset. I am on my feet walking for miles, depending on the site, for hours a day. I personally wear a concealment vest underneath my uniform. The vest hugs tightly around your torso area. I met with a chiropractor and he stated that those types of vests are weakening your back. The best way he described to me is when you have knee problems, you put a brace or wrap your knee. With the brace or wrap on your knee it makes it so your knee moves as one instead of using individual muscles. Over a period of time the muscles in your knee will weaken to an extent because they are only moving a certain direction. The vest is working the same way. It makes your back move as one big muscle instead of the induvial muscles moving simultaneously. Bottom line, the vest is weakening your back. Now add in 30 pounds of gear that is putting pressure on your back and hips, that is a recipe for lower back and hip problems.
ENTER THE LOAD BEARING VEST
I have been doing a lot of research to find a solution to all of this. I switched over to a load bearing vest for most of my gear. I still wear a duty belt that holds my firearm, extra magazines and rubber gloves. Removing my baton, pepper spray, flashlight, radio, and taser from my duty belt was the best thing I have ever done. Most load bearing vests will hold bullet proof or stab proof plating. My personal overt and load bearing vest carries my bullet proof plating. Now that I made the change to an overt load bearing vest, my back has been less of an issue. Most of my weight from my gear is distributed and carried by my shoulders, which is like carrying an evenly distributed backpack. The overt bullet proof plating versus the concealment plating is a great plus as well. My back isn’t being weakened by the “brace” of the concealment vest. Throughout the last year, more and more law enforcement departments are moving over to the load bearing overt vest. This will save departments millions in medical bills and a longer service career for the individual.
WHEN AND WHEN NOT TO WHERE IT
This day in age law enforcement and security professionals are running into the problem of being targeted. The load bearing overt vest looks “scarier” to the common public. I choose when and when not to wear it. If I am armed, I wear the load bearing overt vest. If the contract calls for an unarmed guard, I wear my duty belt. The best example I can give is most public halls that are rented out are for weddings and other parties. I will not be armed there, so I will not wear my load bearing overt vest. First of all, that puts off the wrong impression for that event. It is intimidating and makes you less approachable. I am a very friendly and helpful person when I am at work. I have a good idea that I will be dealing with highly intoxicated people that are trying to have fun. I am not in the environment where I will have to vacate transients and known criminals who have weapons and ill intentions. Most law enforcement and security officers are attacked due to their appearance. That is why all law enforcement departments and security companies have uniform policies.
At Spectre Security, we pride ourselves in offering trained security officers that will best match the clients needs. Having a presence of a uniformed officer deters most crime. When we meet with a client, we listen to all of their needs and requirements. We conduct a security analysis that suits our clients needs while providing safety for our officer. We also have a criterion for all of our guards. As they get more trained and gain more experience, they will be open to more high-profile contracts. Our bottom line is our officers to come home at the end of the shift. Whether you are looking for a plain clothes officer to protect you and your assets or a uniformed officer to patrol your property, Spectre Security has the right officer for you!