Currently, most officers wear their ballistic vest under their uniform shirt while carrying all of their equipment on a belt worn around their waist.
A majority of Xenia officers work 12-hour shifts hours each day, according to XPD. The current belt puts significant amount of stress on the lower back and hips during long shifts.
The department cited a six-month study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire that reported carrying the equipment in the new manner will be beneficial for officers. The study found officers who wore load-bearing vests over a period of six months reported significantly less hip and lower-back pain.
“The newly designed load-bearing vests do not take away the extra weight, instead, it prevents the weight from sitting solely on the hips and lower back,” said XPD in a report. “An added benefit of the vest is that if an officer if not on a call, it can be taken off and easily put back on.”
Xenia officials could not immediately say how much the vest costs.