Starting today, Cowley County Sheriff deputies will have a new look.
Along with many other law enforcement agencies across the country, deputies here will now be wearing outer ballistic vests. Late last year, plans were made to purchase the outer vests.
These will replace the traditional under the shirt models as well as the blue exterior vests previously worn by deputies. The sheriff’s department ordered 32 vests at a cost of $130 to $140 each.
Cowley County Sheriff David Falletti said the new outer-style vests offer many advantages.
Deputies, he said, work 12 hour shifts and an exterior vest can be taken off easily when an officer is in the office doing paperwork. They can also remove it for brief periods when they are out working in the heat.
The use of these vests will allow Deputies to transfer some of the items that they currently wear on their belt to the vest, which has proven to decrease back injuries by relocating the weight from the belt to the vest, Falletti said.
For smaller Deputies, who commonly have difficulty in getting everything that they are required to carry on their waist, this will allow for them to now carry those items on their vest.
“We just wanted the public to know the deputies will have a different look, some have said it looks a bit like SWAT,” Falletti said. “But there are definite advantages. If anyone has questions, they can stop in the sheriff’s office and we’ll answer them.”