The Professional Comfort System The Duty Belt for Today’s Law Enforcement Officers Presented by Mike Lowe, President Tactical Design Labs, Inc.
A Brief History, Sam Browne The Sam Browne Belt –Invented by the one-armed British Army General Sam Browne in the 1850’s, it originally incorporated a single diagonal strap that extended across the chest to support the weight of the sword. –“Tradition” has maintained this as a part of the formal-dress uniform for a few departments still today.
The Sam Browne Today The New Jersey State Police The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Known accounts of strap catching on vehicles and being grabbed by assailants have all but eliminated this from most police uniforms. The Rhode Island State Police
The Police Duty Belt –Typically a 2 1/4 inch belt made of synthetic or leather utilizing various belt buckles, with the traditional Sam Browne strap and buckle being phased out. –This traditional platform was never intended to bear the weight of modern gear and weaponry. (15-20 lbs.) –It’s only been Law Enforcement’s tenacity and toughness that has kept us from actually resolving these health related issues associated with the duty belt.
In earlier years, duty belts were actually worn around the hips for comfort. Uniformity and security issues have caused the duty belt to be worn around the waist as opposed to the hips. (Keepers) Carpenter tool belts use a similar system for comfort and weight displacement. The Backpacking Industry understands the importance of a platform to distribute weight to the hips. Duty Belts Issues
Health Related Issues Health issues have been well documented over the years with injuries and discomfort relating to the current platform. –In 1997, the Dept. of CHP conducted a study with UC Berkeley on duty belt discomfort and determined the problems to include the weight and rigidity of the gear, as well as gear location. –A 2004 study conducted by the Police Association of New South Wales owed their pain to a limited adjustment capacity, where the belt was worn either too tightly, or too loosely. They, too, noted gear weight as a key proponent in duty belt pain. –Other research and common knowledge relates pain and discomfort to the weight of the belt.
Health Cont. Health Related Issues Not to be confused with fitness issues or duty related injuries. Too much weight being worn around the waist on a non-weight- bearing platform. Issues caused by lower edge of belt pressing into body bones and nerves. Compression of the lateral femoral nerves causes leg numbness and pain, potentially creating permanent damage. (Meralgia Paresthetica) Hours of sitting on accessories.
Who Will Accept Responsibility for this Obvious Problem?
No Real Solution Suspenders –Only transfer weight and problem to shoulders and neck, Narrow straps not designed for weight bearing capabilities. –Timely to put on. –Difficult to Adjust: Too Tight or Falling Off. –Safety concerns at being dragged or grabbed. –Take away from appearance or perceived as too militaristic. –Gear bounces when running.
The Professional Comfort System –Designed to support, displace, and dispense weight. –Alleviate and mitigate compression of lateral femoral nerves. –Provides a padded, protective barrier between accessories and body from sitting or falling. –Holds accessories in place for common and consistent indexing. (Officer Molly Bowden) –Provides additional lumbar support. The Solution
Cop-Lock Belt Buckle: Heavy-weight, three way release belt buckle (now the industry standard). One-time assembly, gear will remain unwaveringly in place, utilizing at least two keepers. All components sold separately or as a system. Standard width belt to accommodate all of your current gear as well as TDL Holsters. Other Features
The Professional Comfort System is currently being used in hundreds of departments nationwide, including the following: Clark County Sheriff’s Office –Vancouver, Washington Polk County Sheriff’s Office –Des Moines, Iowa Ada County Sheriff’s Office –Boise, Idaho Fort Collins Police Department –Fort Collins, Colorado Departments Using the PCS Pennsylvania Constable’s Office –Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Del Ray Beach Police Dept. –DelRay Beach, Florida Gulfport Police Department –Gulfport, Mississippi Benton County Sheriff’s Office –Kennewick, Washington
““Once I found the Professional Comfort System, I was immediately amazed. Upon putting it on, it felt like I was wearing a pillow around my waist. ALL of the gear weight was evenly distributed around the belt and because of the lower back support, I noticed none of the gear was "pinching" my sides. I will never go back to any other belt system. Thanks a million!” Testimonials
“My chiropractor LOVED the belt and will be thankful for the information on the belts as he wants to pass the idea to his other law enforcement clients. I’m passing it on to my lawyer as well, since he works for most every cop in the country who gets hurt. I believe it could help a lot of them get back to work.” Testimonials
“The biggest surprise for me was what happens when you try to run, which in my case isn't very fast, but I try. In the suspenders your equipment gets to bouncing and gets out of rhythm with the rest of you and slows you down even more. The belt stays in place and makes it much easier. I can't say enough good things about this belt. I sure don't want to give it back.” Testimonials
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