Moore County Sheriff’s deputies are in the process of increasing their safety by transition to an outer vest carrier system. This is a recent national trend among law enforcement agencies because of the many advantages of the outer vest carrier systems, according to a news release from Moore County Sheriff’s Department.
The outer vest carrier increases officer safety by allowing deputies to effectively carry more life-saving equipment on their person enabling the deputy to have immediate access to the equipment. This equipment includes tourniquets and Narcan drug overdose kits. Narcan (naloxone) is an opiate antidote. Opioids include heroin and prescription pain pills like morphine, codeine, oxycodone, methadone and Vicodin. When a person is overdosing on an opioid, breathing can slow down or stop and it can very hard to wake them from this state. Narcan is a prescription medicine that blocks the effects of opioids and reverses an overdose, according to stopoverdoseil.org.
The news release said that offficers’ back pain and health issues related to their backs including conditions such as hip or sciatic pain resulting from the weight of their duty belt and equipment are well known. Many officers have suffered back injuries from motor vehicle accidents or slips and falls. These outer vest carriers increase officer safety by helping to shift the burdensome weight of their equipment from their duty belt to the outer vest carrier.
In the event that a deputy is injured, an outer vest carrier can quickly be removed by responding officers or emergency medical personnel for assessment of the deputy’s injuries or wounds. An outer vest carrier also provides several places for the responding officers to use in order to move an injured deputy who is not able to move under his own power. Just this past Friday evening, deputies responding to a domestic call in Carthage. When they arrived, they were confronted by an armed male subject who pointed a weapon at one of the deputies. The deputy shot the suspect in the leg; however, if the suspect had managed to shoot the deputy, these new outer vest carrier would have helped the responding officers in such a situation.
Another very important benefit is that it will be much more comfortable for the deputy to wear, according to the news release. It will enable the deputy to easily make adjustments to the vests while on duty. And, it will be cooler for the deputy to wear during the hot summer months helping to reduce officer fatigue.
Sheriff Godfrey said “the advantages and options provided by an outer vest carrier are simply too great to be ignored. As technology evolves, outer vest carriers become more advanced and offer even greater protection and functionality. Additionally, our deputies will be able to carry tourniquets and in response the opioid epidemic sweeping this country, they will be trained and carry Narcan. This is one more thing we’re doing to provide the best service for the citizens of Moore County.”
*photo courtesy of moore county sheriff’s office