Jamestown Police To Utilize Support Enterprises Inc.-Produced Bulletproof Vest
May 11, 2014
By A.J. Rao (firstname.lastname@example.org) , Post-Journal
Republished with permission of The Post-Journal.
For years, the Jamestown Police Department has relied on a tactical bulletproof vest considered too heavy, bulky and constraining by many of its wearers.
Now, thanks to a joint effort with Support Enterprises, the JPD has adopted a new vest, deemed lighter, stronger and better tailored to the individual than its predecessor ever achieved.
“We’ve had a lot of experience making vests for the military,” said Edward Vos, product development engineer for Support Enterprises. “But since the military is slowing down in their equipment and usage … we thought we could transition into a police force vest.”
Vos described how he, Cory Leymeister, Production Coordinator & Jeremy Weilacher, Prototype & Design Manager visited the JPD last year to get feedback on how to develop a more effective and user-friendly vest.
“Most of (the changes) involved taking the weight off their belts where they had their guns, handcuffs, radios and all this paraphernalia around their waist … and see what they could put up on their vest,” Vos said. “We also wanted the vest to be ‘criminal-proof’ … (we didn’t want) somebody to grab at their vest and use it as a weapon (or injure them) with their police badge or pen… so we designed it to hide the pen pockets and make the police badge a patch not a pin.”
Other changes included the location of radio pouches, now mounted in either the left or right side of the vest depending on the individual. There’s also an “officer down” strap in the back that allows wounded officers to be easily lifted from behind and a removable and reflective police badge on the back.
Jamestown Chief of Police Harry Snellings, a 22-year military veteran, played a critical role in many of these improvements, touting the vest’s waterproof material and more breathable design.
“These are not military vests,” Snellings said. “But we’re trying to learn from the techniques of the military to (improve them).”
Snellings added that the vests are more cost-effective coming from a local vendor.
“We like doing business with local businesses because the taxpayers’ money is going right back in supporting our local businesses,” Snellings said.
According to Vos, the goal of Support Enterprises is to eventually bring its police vest design to other law enforcement agencies around the county, the state and ultimately nationwide.