Metroparks Rangers Are Getting a New Look

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Metroparks Rangers are getting a new look.

The Ranger Department recently won a national award for the professional look of its uniforms, but a switch to a new uniform is necessary for practical reasons.

A lack of availability resulted in long back-orders and difficulties in outfitting rangers with the current uniform. The new uniform also includes a load-bearing vest carrier for law enforcement equipment, making it better for the Rangers' health.

Metropark Rangers, along with many other law enforcement agencies, carry all of their gear on duty belts around their waists. Fully-equipped duty belts can weigh more than 25 pounds, putting excess weight and strain on an officer’s hips and lower backs. The new load bearing vests help to distribute the weight of the equipment more evenly across their chest and shoulders, relieving stress on the lower back and making it more comfortable when they are seated while driving, walking on trails and patrolling on a bike.

"Our hope is to alleviate future, long-term health issues associated with traditional duty belts for our Rangers," said Brad Navarre, deputy chief. "Officer wellness is extremely important to Metroparks, as we strive to protect our natural parklands and serve our visitors."