QPS rolls out high tech vests to improve officer safety

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services The Honourable Mark Ryan

Next generation integrated load-bearing vests will be rolled out to frontline police officers across Queensland this year in a major safety boost for the Queensland Police Service (QPS).

Police Minister Mark Ryan said the $24.4 million initiative will see officers protected with the combined ballistic and edged weapon safety features as part of their operational uniform for the first time in Queensland. “Our officers put their life on the line whenever they respond to highly volatile and dangerous situations and they should be protected with the latest technology in officer safety equipment,” Minister Ryan said. “The brand new integrated load-bearing vest incorporates technological advancements in textiles and design to improve the safety and comfort of our frontline officers.

“Currently, officers must wear an overt ballistic vest on top of a load bearing vest to be protected from a firearm threat, whereas, the new integrated load bearing vest can achieve this protection and be worn at all times while on duty.

“The vests will not only allow them to safely carry their firearm, taser, baton, handcuffs, radio and body worn camera while performing their duties, but also, provide added protection against offenders who may be armed with knives or firearms.

Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the 12,200 vests would be rolled out to frontline officers across the state from July following a successful trial.

“We are undertaking extensive operational trials of the integrated load-bearing vests in differing climates and situations across the State including fit, form and function testing and that has informed the final design,” Commissioner Carroll said.

“Keeping our officers safe as they go about their duties is paramount.

“I’m very pleased we will see each frontline officer issued with their individual integrated load-bearing vest to improve their safety as they continue protecting our communities.”

Minister Ryan said the rollout of integrated load-bearing vests were part of the State Government’s significant election commitment to directly enhance police resources and operations in Queensland.

“The investment in integrated load-bearing vests is one of a range of initiatives by the State Government to enhance resources, technology and operations for police.

“The QPS is also rolling out 4,500 body worn cameras, 5,000 Q-Lite devices, 250 new police patrol vehicles and high-tech cameras and drones to crack down on hooning offences.”

Queensland Police Union President Ian Leavers said he welcomed the next step in this process of giving police state-of-the-art vest technology.

“I have advocated long and hard for this equipment to be delivered to our front-line police.

“I’ve been intimately involved from the outset to ensure police get the best possible outcome from this investment in our frontline officers.

“The safety of our frontline officers is an absolute priority and I congratulate the government for investing in this critical safety equipment.”

The integrated load-bearing vests will be rolled-out from July.

/Public Release. View in full here.