New ’load-bearing’ vests for Eagle County Sheriff’s Office
The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office has updated its uniforms to include new “load-bearing” vests in an effort to promote the long-term health of its uniformed team members.
The vests are designed to redistribute the weight of equipment, up to 30 pounds, that is carried on a traditional duty belt to the load-bearing vest. That redistribution of weight improves function, comfort and mobility, the sheriff’s office said.
“We expect that this new change will greatly improve the long-term physical health of our staff who have been wearing heavy equipment on their duty belt for years,” Eagle County Sheriff James van Beek said in a news release announcing the new vests.
The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said it has seen the effects of heavy equipment being carried on the hips from duty belts over the years, with deputies who have developed hip, lower back or sciatic nerve pain. These issues, over the years, have resulted in many deputies needing to take time off for doctor’s appointments, to visit chiropractors and even undergo surgeries to fix issues attributed to the long-term wearing of a duty belt, the sheriff’s office said.
The new load-bearing vests have now been issued to all uniformed team members both on patrol and in the jail. “The staff is already wearing them and while slightly different from what our community typically associated with the ECSO uniform, they give a new uniform and professional appearance,” the sheriff’s office said.