Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today announced that new, enhanced body armour will be delivered to all Police officers in New Zealand over the next three years.

Police has signed a contract with Cooneen Protection for the manufacture and supply of the new body armour system, and with Tactical Solutions – Cooneen Protection’s New Zealand agents – to provide ongoing logistical support, including measuring and fitting.

“As Police, our vision is for New Zealand to be the safest country, and that starts with our staff. To keep communities safe, first Police must keep themselves safe,” Commissioner Bush said.

“So today I’m proud to announce we are investing in a new body armour system that will help keep Police safe.

“With more than a million interactions with the public every year, the vast majority of New Zealanders engage with us appropriately.

However, it’s unfortunately, the nature of Police work that some people want to harm us.

“Existing body armour remains safe and fit for purpose and I am confident that it will continue to keep Police safe while we roll out new body armour over the next three years.

“However, with advances in technology over the past 10 years, we have an opportunity to enhance Police body armour with a new, innovative body armour system that feels lighter and more comfortable, is more adjustable and customisable, while retaining all of the safety benefits of current body armour,” Commissioner Bush added.

The new armour is more adjustable and it better integrates the ballistic armour into the stab-resistant armour and provides individually-issued tactical pouches.

This gives Police staff options about where they carry their tactical equipment such as radio, OC spray, baton and handcuffs.

Police officers will also have direct access to their tactical equipment while wearing newly-designed high-visibility jackets.

“Police are often required to wear body armour for long shifts, in all weather, while remaining active.

That’s why it’s so important the new body armour is more comfortable and easier to wear for long periods of time.”

Measuring and fitting of body armour is a key part of the process to ensure the armour is comfortable and safe.

Police is partnering with Tactical Solutions, who will provide specialist measure and fit services across New Zealand, so Police have the right armour for their body size and shape.

The new body armour will be delivered to all Police officers over the next three years, between January 2019 and mid-2022.

“We’re investing in 1800 extra Police in the coming years.

Today’s announcement ensures we are continuing to equip our staff with the tools they need to do their jobs safely in our communities every day.”