SAPOL front line officers to receive new Aquaterro body armour

SAPOL

Image credit: SAPOL

South Australia Police (SAPOL) will receive 2,983 new advanced, custom Multi-Purpose Load Bearing Vests (MPLBV), incorporating the latest lightweight technology supplied by Australian company, Aquaterro (Advanced Product Supplies). 

This will protect SAPOL officers on the beat, as the South Australian government continues to support their enhanced personal safety. 

At Henley Beach Police Station last week, minister for Police Vincent Tarzia spoke with officers and inspected their new kit, alongside SAPOL assistant commissioner Linda Fellows and Member for Colton Matt Cowdrey. 

The safety of officers posted to police stations at Henley Beach, Parks, Port Adelaide, Mount Barker, Victor Harbor and some regional sites, is already boosted, Tarzia said. 

“The safety and security of front line SAPOL officers is being beefed-up with state-of-the-art body armour that offers innovative protection in high-risk situations,” Tarzia said. 

“SAPOL officers have never had this layer of back-to-front protection on the beat. Each officer was individually measured and fitted, so every piece of armour is tailored to offer individuals the best protection possible from knife and firearm attacks, and those who use violence. 

“The Marshall government is committed to keeping front line personnel safe and our $8.5 million investment in this new armour is another way we’re supporting those who risk their personal safety for us.” 

Aquaterro is a highly renowned Australian supplier, which expects the rollout to be completed this financial year with hopes COVID-19 won’t affect the timeline. 

“We are very proud to be supporting South Australia Police with the very best body armour system technology,” Aquaterro CEO and founder Graeme Bulte said. 

“Aquaterro is a 100 per cent Australian-owned company, and our staff have been travelling the length and breadth of the state personally measuring officers for their new world’s-best protective equipment.” 

The Safariland LN0245 model – one of six options considered – was selected after overwhelming support during an extensive trial period conducted by SAPOL in late 2019. The trial investigated protection, comfort and performance of the vests under different weather conditions across metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia. 

The Safariland LN0245 replaces SAPOL’s Overt Body Armour. 

“The new vests will be worn when police officers, community constables and protective security officers are conducting operational duties and carrying an exposed firearm,” Fellows said. 

“They are lightweight and individually fitted to ensure the officers are protected. This will ensure the highest level of safety for all of our members.” 

Funding for the vests, including provisions for lockers and storage, was part of the South Australian government’s $93.2 million additional funding for SAPOL, announced in the State Budget 2020/21. Since 2018, the state government has provided more than $270 million in extra funding to SAPOL to maintain South Australian safety. 

The rollout of the vests follows another significant boost to police resources announced in June, with an additional 114 Protective Security Officers (PSO) set to reinforce SAPOL’s successful COVID-19 response. More than $23 million – announced in the State Budget 2021/22 – is funding the resource supercharge. 

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