Not All Law East Texas Police and Sheriff's Require Bulletproof Vests - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/25/02 - Tyler

Not All Law East Texas Police and Sheriff's Require Bulletproof Vests

  Not every police department requires an officer to wear the bulletproof vest. Here in East Texas we did some checking to find out the policies of the sheriff's and police.

  Tyler and Gregg County provide the protective armor, but do not mandate officers wear them. Some officers say it's a health issue when they are not worn.

  "It's optional for the officers and there are things that play into that such as the weather," says Officer Chris Moore with the Tyler Police Department. "  In Texas, it gets very hot and riding around in a car for a long period of time in a vest or standing out in the hot sun, it's going to create a condition where you are not able to sweat out in the intense heat."

  At the Smith County Sheriff's Department, if a deputy is issued a vest, they must wear them. And they're making a policy change at Longview P.D. so all officers going to a call will wear the armor. Wearing the vest is preferred by most departments.

"The department provides it which is nice because a lot of departments don't provide it, a lot of departments cannot afford to provide vests," says Moore.

Of all the departments we questioned, all do require S.W.A.T. officers wear the lifesaving vests because of the up front danger.

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