Melbourne-based Australian Defence Apparel (ADA) will provide 14,000 new ballistic vests for the Victorian Police Force as part of a $36 million investment.
The vests have been developed in direct consultation with frontline officers to improve their personal safety, comfort and mobility, and have a high standard of ballistic and spike protection. The light-weight vests provide improved access to equipment, better movement, more secure fit and have thermal management to adapt to both warm and cold temperatures.
"These vests have already been tested in the field and provide increased movement, improved access to equipment and are more comfortable to wear in a vehicle," Victorian Minister for Police Lisa Neville said.
The new vests are part of the Victorian government’s ongoing investment in cutting-edge technology for Victoria Police, with 11,000 new hi-tech body-worn cameras and 10,000 mobile devices being rolled out to police officers across the state.
The vests provide a simple and secure attachment for the body-worn cameras and have also been designed with a special pocket for the mobile devices. These mobile devices give police faster access to information out in the field, including capturing evidence and performing identity checks, rather than having to return to the office.
"These vests have already been tested in the field and provide increased movement, improved access to equipment and are more comfortable to wear in a vehicle," Minister Neville said.
All uniform officers will be equipped with the new vests, along with Protective Services Officers, Police Custody Officers, Highway Patrol, Crime Scene Services, investigators and the Mounted Branch.
Victorian Police Assistant Commissioner Debra Abbott said, "The end result that we see today is a multi-functional, fit for purpose, comfortable and safe vest for all officers to wear when responding to duties. It’s about aligning all of our operational equipment with new technology and modern ways of policing."
Australian Defence Apparel was established in 1912 as the Commonwealth Government Clothing Factory, responsible for the manufacture and supply of uniforms to Australia’s fighting forces through two world wars and many other conflicts, playing an instrumental role in creating what has become the iconic visual image of the Australian digger.
ADA owns Australia’s largest dedicated uniform manufacturing facility. Globally, ADA leverages the strengths of parent company, Logistik Unicorp, a specialist uniform company headquartered in Canada.