Salute The Badge: New vests aim to reduce long term injuries for deputies

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A traditional look for Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Deputies is getting an upgrade.

After a year of testing, the sheriff’s office has began phasing in new uniforms allowing patrol deputies to store equipment, which can weigh around 40 lbs., in their vests.

“Cuffs, tourniquet, taser, magazines, pistol, radios, flash light, camera pack. It’s a lot and it can get real heavy,” said Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Rufus Porter.

Most Caddo deputies carry many of the above items on their hips each day and it’s toted around for over 40 hours a week.

“A lot of older deputies, veteran law enforcement officers, such as myself, we have hip issues from carrying all that weight on our waist for all these years,” said Chief Deputy Jay Long.

That’s why you’ll see more deputies wearing new vests allowing them to store gear and have the weight distributed evenly.

“So you’re not putting any particular pressure on one area,” said Caddo Parish Sheriffs Office Medical Director Dr. Patrick McGauley. “You’re putting it on a wider area, reducing the pressure on any one spot.”

The deputies say not only are the new uniforms more comfortable, they make their equipment easier to reach.

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