Attention all Iowa Law Enforcement!
BlueStone Safety Products is attending this year's Iowa Police Chiefs Executive Training Conference on Wednesday, May 25th.
If you're attending the conference, visit us at Booth 20 to see samples of our custom-tailored load bearing vests, and the life-changing health benefits wearing one can have!
Check out the video of the Officer's Surgery Here: https://youtube.com/shorts/W5uZcsqGolg?feature=share
While the radio is necessary for officers to have on them at all times, the radio cording can get in the way or cause the officer’s uniform to look unprofessional with bunched up cords hanging off of them. With the increased demand for officer’s to have a clean, uniform appearance, BlueStone created a solution: openings on their custom LBVs that allow you to run your radio cording inside of the vest.
With most standard setups, officers either run their radio cording behind their back and up their shoulder, or they run it straight to the mic tab in the middle of their vest, doing their best to tuck in or keep the excess radio cording out of their way. While this might be functional, it causes two issues: it takes away from their clean, uniform look, and it gives people something to grab onto if they are engaging with the officer.
Article Written By Courtney Levin, Police1 BrandFocus Staff. Article Originally posted on Police1.com here.
Law enforcement is a physically demanding profession, and if you aren’t running or jumping while in pursuit of an assailant with a 20-pound duty belt weighing you down, you’re sitting in your patrol vehicle at an odd angle to accommodate the items on said belt.
Along with our many popular colors such as LAPD Blue, Black, Brown, and Tan, BlueStone Safety now offers Forest Green as an option for our custom-tailored load bearing vest carriers! This color is extremely popular with Sheriff Department's throughout Florida, and we are very excited to assist their departments by creating custom load bearing vests in their approved color. If your department is interested in our Forest Green Color, please let us know and we'll gladly assist you. Our custom-tailored LBVs will look great when worn with your department's uniform shirts, giving you a clean, Class A uniform look while giving you the health benefits of less hip, lower back, and sciatic nerve pain.
BlueStone Safety’s vests offer a discreet alternative to traditional uniform tops by offering a professional look coupled with the ability to increase officer safety and lessen the load typically meted out by heavy duty belts
Article Originally Posted On Police1 here:
The duty belt is a staple of every police officer’s equipment and often the final piece of the uniform that he or she will don before reporting to line-up or their assigned duty station. For many, it can be a pain-inducing, circulation-restricting, mobility-inhibiting nightmare. With duty belts typically carrying a service weapon, TASER, handcuffs, a radio, OC spray and duty magazines, it's easy to see how this addition of 20 pounds of equipment presents a strain to the officer's hips and back, as the weight is distributed along the circumference of the duty belt. BlueStone Safety seeks to remedy this with their custom load-bearing vest, which shifts the weight from the hips and back to the shoulders, which are much more well-suited to the task.
It’s not easy for officers to maintain a clean, Class A uniform look while carrying the ever-growing list of
required items. To help officers hold onto everything, some departments wear molle external vests, but they tend to receive a negative view for looking “too militaristic” and “too tactical” in the eyes of the public.
There is a simple solution however that maximizes an officers’ comfort and still gives them a uniform look:
custom, tailor-made load bearing vests with matching sewn on pouches.
BlueStone Safety Products’ custom load bearing vest carriers are completely made from scratch, starting from the roll of material and finishing with a completely custom-fit LBV. These vests blend in with the officers’ uniform shirt and have pouches made out of the exact same material as the vest; This gives each officer a uniform look while maintaining all the health benefits BlueStone load bearing vests are known for (reducing back pain, sciatic pain, heat exhaustion, and heat rash). Moving heavy items from the officers duty belt on to their load bearing vest helps relieve the strain on their backs and makes them more comfortable during each shift, maximizing their comfort.
Each BlueStone LBV is proudly made in the USA, and can be customized for officers to choose the pouch locations for each of their items (handcuffs, magazines, flashlights, OC, taser, tourniquet, magazines, etc). As an added touch, each pouch is custom made to fit the specific model of items you have (custom pouches made to fit MK-3 OC pouches, Streamlight Strion flashlights, etc). These LBVs are custom made to the Chief or Sheriff’s exact specifications and needs, providing officers with superior comfort while maintaining a Class A uniform look.
The health and wellness of officers has become a more pressing matter than ever, as officers find themselves with hip, lower back, or sciatic nerve pain after beginning their career in law enforcement. While they want to lessen the load on their bodies, they are required to carry 20-25 pounds worth of equipment at all times. On top of that, officers also need to maintain a clean, uniform look while carrying the department’s required items. While this can be a difficult task, load bearing vest carriers have been shown as one of the best options to alleviate hip and back pain, while still keeping a professional appearance.
Sergeant Zabee of the Elk River PD met with representatives from a variety of load bearing vest companies, and after careful consideration, he decided to present Bluestone Safety Products’ LBV to his police administration. “The overall appearance of their LBV product, fit, form and function were superior to other products. This, in addition to their ability to customize features of the LBV and their customer service, made the selection easy,” Sgt. Zabee said.
The administration decided to move forward with a custom designed LBV by BlueStone Safety that met all of their specifications, including front and rear rifle plate pockets, additional MOLLE webbing on the lower half with traditional uniform chest pockets, lower hidden accessory pockets behind the MOLLE, custom Axon BWC mount tabs and a custom American flag sewn on the chest pocket. “At our request, Bluestone Safety custom ordered the exact thread color match of our existing uniform embroidery and was able to implement it in our department approved LBV,” Sgt. Zabee said.
Several patrol sergeants were the first to be custom fitted for BlueStone LBVs, and after their successful trial, the department worked with their admin to create a LBV program. This program went live in January of 2021, and provided participating officers with a tailor-made load bearing vest from BlueStone.
After the successful implementation of load bearing vests at his department, Sgt. Zabee provided some additional thoughts on the LBVs. “I have received terrific feedback from patrol officers. Several veteran officers with more than 20 years of law enforcement experience have told me they noticed the positive impact the LBV had on their body within the first few weeks of use. Many of these veteran officers firmly believe that they would have experienced less injuries and less discomfort during their career if this piece of equipment would have been readily available when they started their careers.”
“Newer officers on the department, some of whom have transferred from departments where they were allowed to wear an LBV have expressed how impressed they are with the quality of the LBV product from Bluestone, compared to the previous LBV manufacturer they were allowed to wear,” Sgt. Zabee said.
“I believe I speak for not only myself, but on behalf of the police department administration that we have been very satisfied with the overall response from our officers of the LBV product and greatly appreciate the customer service afforded to us by Bluestone Safety Products. To be able to rely on a company like Bluestone Safety, to manufacture such a quality piece of equipment and provide the customer care that they do, allows officers to focus on their job, knowing they are well equipped and most likely feel physically better than if they were still wearing a traditional duty belt,” Sgt. Zabee said.
For more information on BlueStone Safety Load Bearing Vests, please visit: https://www.bluestonesafety.com/
The industry of law enforcement has been changing rapidly over the last few years, and we understand that officers have more on their plates now than ever. This added pressure of being an officer can turn into more stress and anxiety, leading officers to sweat more and overheat while on the job. Being hot and sweaty can make officers uncomfortable, which leads to a cycle of being overwhelmed and overheated.To help lighten the load of officers and cool them down while on the job, we recommend our custom-tailored load bearing vest carriers.
Over the last few years, the health benefits of wearing BlueStone Safety load bearing vest carriers have been explored in great detail. After completing a research study, the Mayo Health Clinic and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire found that BlueStone Safety custom load bearing vests help improve officer's posture by reducing slouching/ rounded shoulders, and they help alleviate hip, lower back, and sciatic pain. While this is all true, our LBVs also do something else extremely important: they help reduce heat rash and heat exhaustion.
Police officers work 8 hour, 10 hour, and even 12 hour shifts each week to protect and serve their communities. When heat exhaustion and heat rash are added to the equation during the warm months, this makes their job even more stressful. Without a load bearing vest, officers wear their body armor underneath their uniform shirt, and they usually have an extra shirt beneath the body armor as well. Adding the weight and extra layers on an already hot day makes officers experience sweat, heat exhaustion, and potentially heat rash from the friction.
Over the last few years, more and more officers have been requesting that their departments approve load bearing vests for their uniforms. While many departments have already made this transition, there are others that have been a bit more hesitant to change from their traditional uniform. With this in mind, we’ve put together 4 steps to help get load bearing vests approved at your department.
Step 1: Show the Health Benefits LBVs Provide For Officers
One of the main reasons load bearing vest carriers have been so high in demand is because of the long-term health benefits they have for officers that wear them instead of a typical duty belt. To help the decision-makers at your department truly see the benefits, we recommend showing them the results from a research study conducted by the Mayo Health Clinic and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
In this study, the Eau Claire police department separated officers into 2 groups: those who were wearing a BlueStone Safety load bearing vest carrier, and those that kept all of their equipment on their duty belt. After 3 months, the officers who were wearing duty belts transitioned to BlueStone LBVs, and vice versa. After the 6 month study concluded, they found that officers wearing BlueStone LBVs had far less hip, lower back, and sciatic nerve pain. The full results of the study can be found here.
A video detailing the research study can also be found here. Departments that provide their officers with custom load bearing vest carriers are being proactive to help reduce the injury and pain that officers may face while on duty. When an officer does have sciatic nerve pain from wearing a duty belt, the doctor will typically prescribe a load bearing vest carrier to relieve them of the pain. Supplying officers with BlueStone LBVs helps prevent the injury before it happens.
Step 2: Explain How the Department Benefits