Horry County Police officers will soon replace their bulletproof vests to help them keep cool, even when they aren’t under pressure.
Deputy Chief Lance Winburn discussed the department’s new equipment during Monday’s Horry County Public Safety meeting.
The public won’t see many changes with the officers still wearing tan uniforms and the same police insignia. Underneath, there will be a change to the vest’s material. The new material is called armored-skin.
Winburn said the new bulletproof vests allow for better air circulation and can be loosened if an officer is not responding to a call. The current vests can get hot on warm days, Winburn said.
If an officer is in an office doing paperwork, they can loosen the new vest and stay cooler instead of having the warm vest, he said.
An officers will wear a polo-type shirt under the vest. That vest will then be under the uniform the public sees.
The new uniforms will still identify officers as police, he said.
Winburn said a handful officers have been trying the new system for the past year as part of a test program. The department decided to use the new material and placed the order.
“Every patrol officer will be issued this,” Winburn said.
Spokeswoman Krystal Dotson didn’t have a timetable for all 185 patrol officers to have the new system, but said it should not be a long process.
Winburn didn’t have a total cost for the new system, but said its costs are factored in the uniform-replacement aspect of the department’s current budget.