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Duty Vest Instead of Duty Belt

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by Goldendog Redux, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. Goldendog Redux

    Goldendog Redux Shut your mouth

    Aug 22, 2003
    A dude at my dept had back surgery and has managed to be allowed to wear an external carrier/drop holster instead of Sam Browne. He is still on light duty so no report yet. Any y'all wear one? Likes? Dislikes?

  2. Bruce M

    Bruce M

    Jan 3, 2010
    S FL
    We have some younger guys who wear them who are not on SRT but appear to want to be. The guys on SRT don't seem to wear them except when they absolutely have to and take them off as soon as possible (of course theirs are armored.) I am not a physician but I do wonder how one could be well enough to wear a drop holster and carrier but not a gun belt.

  3. OLY-M4gery


    Nov 7, 2001
    Southern WI
    Plenty of officers around here where external vests and suspenders.

    No one where a drop holster for patrol. There are weapon retention issues with that kind of a setup.
  4. jwhite75

    jwhite75 Gubmint Worker

    Jan 6, 2009
    Dub V
    I notice some K-9 guys wearing the drop legs, and often a WML mounted in the holster. Nobody here has the external carriers. I have seen some depts on COPS that have them and in the right setup they look very professional. If it is just a Molle tacticool load bearing vest I dont see the practicality.
  5. trifecta


    Nov 17, 2008
    I know an officer that is in a similar situation because of a back issue. The dept won't approve the alternate method because it would be different than everybody else. The officer continues to ride the desk.
  6. Goldendog Redux

    Goldendog Redux Shut your mouth

    Aug 22, 2003
    Our guy managed to get the dept to pay for the thing. I would try one if it were authorized. I imagine he will be a special case. I have a tac vest with plates loaded down with fancy crap that is not fun to wear. That vest only comes out at parties A drop holster-if worn correctly-can be secure, fast and effective. Configured correctly and not overloaded I could see a duty vest being fairly useful.

    I would still like to hear from an actual user.

    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  7. rookie1


    Mar 3, 2009
    After 2.5 years my back is starting to hurt. Some guys get suspenders that are issued but I think they are worn incorrectly. We had a awsome LT that wore them correctly.
  8. GunFighter45ACP


    Jun 11, 2005
    D/FW, TX
    They're not too much fun to wear in a hot or humid environment.
  9. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    If I worked investigations I would have a vest with two spare pistol mags, a pair of cuffs, and a WT in the car that I could throw on quickly if needed.

    I wouldn't wear one for patrol. I would however jump at the chance to wear an external vest carrier that looks like my class A uniform shirt. Those are sharp and comfortable.
  10. GackMan


    Feb 12, 2002
    The ability to have the "basics" like gun, mags, cuffs on belt and move all that other crap up to a vest and carry that load on your shoulders is appealing.

    The ability to take the vest off when report writing in a secure facility seems like it would be nice as well.

    It would have to be something inbetween the external "looks like a shirt and doesn't carry anything" carriers and a full on military looking IBA.
  11. razdog76

    razdog76 Heavy Mettle

    Sep 26, 2007
    It is not good for your back to carry all that stuff on the hips, and many Officers carry stuff on their backs which only exacerbates the risk of back injury from sitting in a car seat.

    It certainly isn't "class A," but there are times when the concern should be about getting the job done, and reducing worker's comp claims than looking pretty.
  12. Spiffums

    Spiffums I.C.P.

    Sep 30, 2006
    From what I understand talking to K9s, most use the WML holsters because they can't use both hands because the dog ties one hand up most of the time.
  13. 361cop


    Jul 5, 2007
    Lone Star State
    My agency wears the external vest from Point Blank.

    It is a savior to us because for one it removes just about all the weight from the belt and it is much much cooler because air gets to circulate underneath the vest as opposed to the inner vest. We can also remove the vest when we are at the office doing paperwork and when it time to go, just slip it back on. 30 seconds and you're done.

    The only items on my belt are my gun, asp, flashlight, mag case, and 1 handcuff.

    My exterior vest has my radio, taser, 1 handcuff, and 2 extra mags.
  14. Pepper45


    Jun 15, 2006
    We issue the external carrier with new vests to guys as their old vests reach expiration. I was issued mine a couple months ago. Thankfully, they gave me a regular carrier as well. My gripe with the things is twofold. One, I work in the PNW, and believe it or not, it rains and gets cold here. That means that the frequent "jacket on, jacket off" days that we have, would result in someone having to put everything back on their duty belt. The muscle memory they built up over the summer is now shot, and they have to think about where their stuff is at. The second, is that it's cumbersome to remove everything and clean your carrier as frequently as you should. Some of my co-workers have tired of stripping the carrier every so often and washing it, or smelling like some of the transients we roust.

    I took my new external carrier, put some rifle and extra pistol mag pouches on it, and put my old vest panels in it. Doubling up the soft body armor, while not perfect, will probably help somewhat, and it's a ready made active shooter vest.

    ETA: The new vests may very well help with back problems, but I wear suspenders. They're designed to take the load off my hips, and break away in a fight. That external carrier might remove the weight, but it will also be a handle for some bad guy to use to sling me around.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  15. CJStudent

    CJStudent Fenced In

    Nov 3, 2005
    I don't use it, but I ran into an NPS Law Enforcement Ranger at Mammoth Cave that does. He seemed to like it a lot, and it actually looked decent with his uniform. This was the kind with some pouches sewn into the carrier, not the MOLLE type.
  16. ray9898


    May 29, 2001
    I would love an external setup.
  17. GackMan


    Feb 12, 2002