Bellevue Police Dept. switching over to load-bearing vest

More tools for the brothers in blue.

Officers are swapping out their "duty belts" for "load-bearing vests" - a safer and healthier alternative.

Lt. Jay Kirwan wanted to bring the vest to our area. He worked with a manufacturer out of California to specifically design the vest for his officer's needs.

Instead of keeping their tools on their belt, most are carried on the vest.

"It frees up the lower body to move. Even running, stair and climbing over things, I feel like it frees up the lower body and gives you more movement," said Kirwan.

By carrying their tools on their chest, it relieves them of back or hip pain.

Fellow Bellevue Police Officer, Jim Severn prefers the vest over the belt.

"The biggest thing is comfort. I don't have things poking me in the back where normally there would be handcuffs, batons, radios back there," said Severn.

The vest is pricey. It cost about $400. The city doesn't cover that cost for the officers, instead, it comes straight out of their own pockets.

The vest are also traditional looking, while still maintaining practicality.. That was important for the department,

The majority of the officers wear the load-bearing vest.