We are in the conceptual stage of moving to external carriers for our armed Harbor Patrol Officers. One of the challenges is how to use the external carrier and a PFD at the same time when they are on the water.
My question is for any department that already uses external carriers and how they've navigated that specific issue. Specific product recommendations or examples of verbiage in policy or procedures would be helpful also.
Thanks everyone! Stay safe!
Hey Matt-At my previous agency, where I'd do a fair amount of boat patrol during the summer, I'd ditch the external carrier and go with the internal. When our uniform changed to allow the use of external carriers, I tried a couple of times to patrol in the external carrier, but there was just too much bulk on top to maneuver around the boat with the external vest under an inflatable PFD. On top of that, accessing the gear on the vest was difficult with the PFD over top of it. From memory, it seemed as if most of the officers I worked with found the same issue and went "slick top" when doing watercraft patrol (we were fortunate that we could wear different types of uniforms as we saw fit). I think it was Mustang that made a PFD integrated with a load bearing (non-ballistic) vest, but personally I didn't like the idea that for whatever reason you had to take off the PFD, you'd loose the vest with all the gear attached all at once.
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