Toledo Chief Bans Cops From Wearing Outer Vests Because He Doesn't Like The Look

Sandy Malone

Toledo Police Chief George Kral has banned his officers from wearing tactical vests that carry all of their equipment.

Toledo, OH – The Toledo police chief has banned outer tactical vests for his department because he doesn't like how they look.

“We’re not soldiers, we’re peace officers,” Toledo Police Chief George Kral told WTVG. “In my opinion, that looks too much like a military soldier.”

Chief Kral is a big fan of community policing and he said doesn’t think officers wearing tactical vests, covered in flashlights, knives, and Tasers sends the right message.

“Picture this,” the chief told WTVG. “Two six-foot-three big strapping policemen are in a house and there’s a five-year-old child in the scene. And they see these guys with all of this, and the Tasers, on the vest. And it’s intimidating.”

He said he knew his decision would be unpopular with the officers but said that wasn’t a factor in his decision-making process.

“What it comes down to is there are some young officers on this department who have never been said ‘no’ to before and they have to understand that I’m the chief of police and I make those decisions,” Chief Kral explained. “And I make those decisions based on the citizens that we serve and themselves. So this is gonna be something that they’re just going to have to live with.”

The average police officer carries upwards of 30 lbs. of gear at all times while on patrol and most of the officers who wear tactical vests have said they help dramatically reduce strain on their back and hips.

The chief said he has taken the health of his officers into consideration and ordered an alternative system that would do the same thing, WTVG reported.

“I know a big concern for the officers is with the Molle vest, it takes all of the pressure off of their back and their hips… the new solution comes with a built in suspender system that clips onto their belt keepers that does the exact same thing,” Chief Kral promised.

Despite complaints from officers about the change, the union can’t do anything about it because uniform decisions lie with the chief, according to WTVG.

Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association (TPPA) President Michael Haynes said officers are retraining to get used to having their equipment back on their belts after the brief reprieve.

Haynes credited Chief Kral for making “good attempt on addressing the health issues” and said officers were slowly getting used to it.

Comments (190)
No. 1-50
Officer Cynical
Officer Cynical

Another politicized administrator that doesn't give two shits about his officers.

Davidtwmay24
Davidtwmay24

How about we take away the guns and handcuffs too. Make it so they have absolutely nothing to protect themselves with and nothing to defend themselves against.
What a liberal snowflake!
Send him out into the field and see how long he lasts...

MKiley
MKiley

I’m the chief of police and I make those decisions,” Chief Kral explained. “And I make those decisions based on the citizens that we serve and themselves. So this is gonna be something that they’re just going to have to live with.” No chief, they're going to die without it, those tactical vests contain the level 4 plates that protect them from rifle fire. No LEO I know where's the tactical vest without the plates.

curly33
curly33

It won't be popular with the officers widows either.

Zappa68
Zappa68

Typical political chief.

flybynight
flybynight

Total fool.

ScaleriBrosLawyer
ScaleriBrosLawyer

Forgive me, but they're still keeping all that equipment, yes? So what difference does it make? If it's functionally better to wear it on their vest instead of their belt, why not let them keep it that way?

Sgt167
Sgt167

Most chiefs are out of touch with patrol officers. The outer vest covers make it possible to take off 20 lbs of gear and the vest when in the station doing reports, which during warm months allow you to cool down. Stupid move. How about limiting the amount and location of pockets and gear carried On the vest on an individual basis instead a blanket policy.

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

Here's a thought........Maybe the little ones wouldn't be terrified if the police showed up IF their parent/adults in the place didn't cause the problem that made the police show up in the first place..........Just my thoughts....... 🤔

LynnSB
LynnSB

You idiot moron of a chief so what the hell do you want them to do with all of their gear holding their hands so they can’t defend themselves if anything happens or should I go in there without the radio or without their gun or without their coughs flashlight whatever else it is they need that’s what the hell the best is for you moron you know honestly they should put your damn car and make you go on every goddamn call with them for at least a week and you don’t wear a vest and you don’t wear anything else and you go into these situations let’s see how fast you change your mind you lead ass idiot

Teijeiro2
Teijeiro2

FUCKING INSANITY! Chief, if you believe that Law Enforcement are "peace officers" you need to FIND A NEW JOB! Policing - Enforcement are NOT "peaceful" terms and they are NOT meant to be. How dare you put these officers' lives at risk so your hippie-ass can impress some 20 year old Bernie Supporter that you're screwing on the side. That is the ONLY reason you could possibly come up with this insanity. "OH some 5 year old will be frightened". MAYBE you should be addressing WHY THE HELL cops would be in the 5 year old's home in the first place, and not how scary your officers might be to some 5 year old. CITIZENS NEED TO FIRE THE CHIEF!

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

The location of that handgun makes it far too easy for a criminal to grab. Fine for military, which is no longer much about hand to hand combat, but not acceptable for police work.

#becausebluelivesmatter

daveinak
daveinak

A delicate balance exists between utility and presence. Citizens have an expectation of a police uniform; the Courts have chimed in regarding conspicuous markings identifying and distinguishing Police Officers especially during warrant execution. Marking an external vest simplifies the conspicuous marking with a hook and pile reflective police placard. Your uniform committee can provide you some well researched courses of action (COAs) to address your concerns and the officer safety/utility concerns of the rank and file.

A COA the City, you, the officers and the community can live with and your embracing community needs is the by-product. A officer shooting B-ball with a bunch of kids lessens thoughts of intimidation. Being approachable carries that message as well.

An excellent opportunity exists for the department to embrace an effective
community policing action - the inclusion of the community in proposing a solution. It will take vetting the community member and allowing them to understand policing. A citizen’s academy could serve that purpose.

Give all an opportunity to work the issue. It provides you with a link to the community and the community a voice in the department and your officers a feeling that the chief executive cares about their input.

1redfox
1redfox

How crazy is that..... Such a stupid decision. TPPA Go get him

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

I had to double-check the name - I thought maybe Portland Police Chief D. Outlaw had moved there.

dcoskrey
dcoskrey

And that 5 year old looks up to them, and respects them, and knows they are the good guys, the guys who will throw themselves in front of a bus for you. And he wants to be them when he grows up. Or at least it used to be that way.

dcoskrey
dcoskrey

Little gives me more comfort than to be in the presence of an officer wearing all the tactical stuff.

RetiredCaLe
RetiredCaLe

Just another politicized libtard.

King1330
King1330

I'm guessing, with all that equipment now on the belt , that will slow the officers down from catching anyone on foot.
Never mind physically wrestling someone down.
Oh and the lack of protection, removing the class 4 plates.
Bravo Chief...BRAVO.....

Scattered
Scattered

Good grief. LEO's are dying at an alarming rate and this moron cares more about them looking scary than them being safe. All Chiefs of Police should have to complete a 2 week ride along before they're hired! Make it a month!

J10107
J10107

This Chief needs to be demoted back to the Community Policing Sergeant he wants to be again. And someone needs to be promoted who has OFFICER SAFETY first and foremost in his/her mind.

In today's world of police haters and ambushes, this current Chief needs to be put out to pasture, maybe in New York where he can go and hug a thug on each and every street corner.

But we all know he's too much of a pansy to stand face to face with any violent criminals.

RETIRE CUPCAKE BEFORE YOU GET SOMEONE KILLED !!!

Jetpilot
Jetpilot

It’s crap like this that contribute to the decline in numbers of police applicants. When I was a deputy sheriff back in the late 90s, people were beating down the doors to become policeman. Like someone else said this police chief is just a died in the wool libitard.

Bobholly79
Bobholly79

Yet another POS Chief

Worried about himself

I swear there are uranium chips in their bars and stars!!😂😂

They loose all logical thinking!!

tommy123
tommy123

The police have been using the duty belt for over 100 years and now they complain of back problems? These weak young officers wanting to be military is wrong and doesn't do anything extra wearing military gear. I'm sure you'll run just as fast getting shot at no matter what you wear....It's time to go back to looking and acting like police officers!!!....or they need to hire tougher police officers and not cry babies!!!

Manlius
Manlius

Here’s another thought:

“Picture this,” the chief told WTVG. “Two six-foot-three big strapping policemen are in a house and there’s a five-year-old child in the scene. And they see these guys with all of this, and the Tasers, on the vest.“..... Just MAYBE the 5 yr old will think “Gee, they stopped Dad from beating up Mom, and they look so cool doing it... I want to be like THEM!!”

javaguy
javaguy

Are we sure on that PC's name? I'll bet his real name is Corporal Klinger.

Marxest
Marxest

Every person working is at the mercy and whims of a boss. This particular boss seems to be prioritizing appearances over safety.

widbill45acp
widbill45acp

First of all, I will say the vest does not look as good as the shirt outside does, I am retired old school, but, and there always is a, but in life, with today's PC extra items, it is necessary. It is chiefs like this that wrought the new PC items, cameras, tasers, and more. If a big man has issues, where does the average size woman carry this extra gear either way? Adding 30 pounds onto a 200-pound man is dangerous for him, climbing fences, hand to hand combat with a younger and lighter bad guy; again, if this is true, what handicap factor does a small woman have to deal with, life is not fair, death is even less fair! I feel for you guys on duty today, the political wave on the negative side hates cops, they let bad guys out before you get back to your cruiser, and they give up witness information to the MS-13 or other gang's attorneys. Such change is madness, as the talking heads do not go out there, as they do all out of their impudent and selfish behavior from the safety of their office, equivalent to a clown wearing makeup.

MizzV
MizzV

I agree with the Chief they are PEACE OFFICERS and should dress accordingly.

It's been clearly stated this new clothing article can be utilized to carry their gear and NOT cause any undue pain or stress.

With that said, I agree with the Chief also most of these guys have never been told "NO" and are use to getting their way.

Don't like the way he does things? Go find another job elsewhere, he's the one in charge of uniforms and you're NOT in the military and shouldn't look like it.

Want to look "militarized"?
Go join up and have at it!!

Stanracer
Stanracer

This chief should get his priorities right.

Prblecause
Prblecause

His decision does not entirely sound like it was based on factual evidence. And when he threw in the statement about reminding everyone he is the Chief made his argument null and void. There are numerous studies regarding Musculoskeletal Disorders caused by the traditional police belt, and I am a walking example. The decision came too late for me but the young officers can avoid the life long pain. And by the way, I wore the suspender option for years and I am not a fan. It's only a matter of time before the pressure from the straps start causing you neck and shoulder issues.

Officer resilience is paramount in today's policing. Mental, spiritual and physical.

colonelorville
colonelorville

Oh, gee, Chief, let's all look "PRETTY" for what we have to deal with every day. How is you office decorated?

nuccten
nuccten

Reed and Malloy didn't need vests! (Sarcasm)

Nnfdret
Nnfdret

If you have to remind everyone that you’re the chief then you haven’t done enough to gain the respect for the position. Intimidation is one of the tools the officers have and employ just by showing up. Your citizens shouldn’t dictate how you mandate compliance. The calls that Leo’s respond to are not social visits. Nobody calls 911 when the steaks are done. It’s usually because a situation has gotten out of control. If I call 911, the last thing I want to show up is some “Barney Fifthe”. I want the presence of law enforcement to be a presence that demands compliance. This guy is a chief in title only. If you want the support of your officers, then perhaps collective decision about uniform policy should be done. It’s called the police force not the police club. Manage by objective not by the seat of your pants.

Lochemet
Lochemet

Chief Kral explained. “And I make those decisions based on the citizens that we serve and themselves. So this is gonna be something that they’re just going to have to live with.”

Holy Toledo! So if the CITIZENS of the community decide they don't like the cops out on the streets with those scary handguns, then the chief will make the decision to leave them back at the station? In today's world, a patrol cop needs to be self-contained and well-protected. That means, all his duty gear on him, and the best protective vest available. If a 5 year old child is afraid of a big cop and his gear, he most likely got that fear at home. If I call 911 because I think there's a perp hanging around my yard or home, I would prefer the biggest cop with most gear. This chief is a snowflake. We're living in a different world than Adam 12 and any of the other shows some grew up on. Just look at the news stories throughout the country. There's a lotta bad guys out there, and every cop needs to be ready to take them on in the most efficient way. If the gear is too heavy or cumbersome for some, then they either need to start working out more, or get into a different field.

Wish505
Wish505

Lame excuse by the chief. Kids trip out on all the gear hanging from the vest. It fits right in with the video games they trip out.

Mic911
Mic911

So let me get this straight chief..you would rather haave your officers be " looking good" and not concerned about their health and well being?!?!? Do you know how many officers go out on retirement or medicals due to carrying all that equipment on their hips/belts? Would it not be better to distribute all the weight around on the chest area? You are kissing up to the political machine chief, care about your people and do the right thing!! Become a cops cop, not some political pawn...

widbill45acp
widbill45acp

"I agree with the Chief(NO PERIOD) they are PEACE OFFICERS and should dress accordingly."

I am so happy you agree with the Chief. How many years have you worn the Batbelt? How many suspects have you fought for your life with, wearing the Batbelt? How many times have you risked your life for anybody or anything?

We care (WINK WINK) what you and yours think.

VicG
VicG

What a douche bag!!!

Overlooked
Overlooked

I wore the vest for many years (not once single complaint from a citizen). Not only did it help with the back strain, but allowed me to carry more equipment. I’m a smaller framed officer and it was very hard to fit the taser/gun/double cuff case and oc spray, camera mic and radio onto the belt while keeping the center of my back clear To prevent injury during a fall. So this chief obviously hasn't taken into consideration the smaller officers on his force while flexing his big “chiefy muscle”

BLUEALWAYS
BLUEALWAYS

Another MORON wanna be boss !!!!!

vwiles34
vwiles34

Sounds like one of these guys no one respects so he uses the " It's my way or the highway " term he heard in a movie to sound like he's tough. A legend in his own mind. To be chief it means most likely he hasn't worked the street in years and has never actually carried all the gear they do now. In today's climate officers need every edge they can get.

PoBeals
PoBeals

What an ASS! When we switched to Tac Vests I immediately felt better, slept better, & had more energy all day long. Although the vest weighs more than the old one, with all our gear on it, it's placement saved my back, lower back and legs from strain, aches and lingering pain. I was sold day one. This administrator is NO LEADER, and clearly cares less about his LEO's than his personal image. Shame on him!

OldSchoolCop1985
OldSchoolCop1985

Wow. Maybe this job is a bit too tough for some of you, huh? Maybe try being a barista if it is---they don't have to carry around a lot of heavy gear.

Balls109
Balls109

The chief is an idiot. He's picked the feelings of the generation of police hate over the comfort and physical well being of his own officers. A load bearing vest is the prober way so carry equipment. A duty belt causes back and hip problems. The British have only know this since 1943. This chief was probably kicked upstairs early and hasn't ever carried a great deal on his belt. I feel sorry for the men and women of this department. I'd leave. I hope they all do to. Your chief doesn't care about you. Seriously. Go. You'll thank yourself. I had a chief that didn't care about me. For way too long. When you get used to the abuse it becomes the norm. Just like domestic violence.

ACSO-Charles-One
ACSO-Charles-One

The chief could have handle the manner in which he explained his position with a little more tact and not so authoritarian. With that said we all have opinions, like assholes we all have them. These vests coupled with the BDU’s that law enforcement patrol personnel are wearing today give off a definite military appearance to the officer. Granted law enforcement follows many examples set forth by there military counterparts the street cop still needs to maintain a balance between community acceptance, officer safety, tactical performance and common sense.

The chiefs alternative (suspenders commonly worn by deputies with Pierce County Sheriff’s Office in Washington) look as tacky (my opinion and remember we all have them) as the fricken vests. So maybe the correct alternative is to sit down with the officers bargaining unit (union) and see if some compromise can be reached. The gun-belt (Sam Browne) for us old timers may have outlived its usefulness and is only appropriate for the dress uniform today. However, if a change is made there needs to be some uniformity in appearance, equipment carried, where it is carried and the officers safety taken into consideration. Just my opinion.

SPD411
SPD411

The Chief has a lawsuit headed his way courtesy of his arrogance.

Al-Mac
Al-Mac

To most of you guys complaining, suck it up cupcake. He is the Chief and serving the community is your job (most of you). For regular patrol officers, cry me a river.

charvick
charvick

NEVER going to happen. He most likely does not even wear a uniform. HE has his suit and tie on so he can impress the ladies and the hlgher ups that
put him in the job to begin with and the uniform would spoil his imagine


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