CINCINNATI, Aug. 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A Cincinnati area police officer has changed the way U.S. law enforcement and other night-time workers are seen in darkness by developing a patented, highly lit safety vest. His goal: to ensure that no more officers are struck by vehicles due to blurred visibility.
Officer Don Campbell was wearing his department-issued vest one evening when a well-meaning woman pulled her vehicle in front of his squad car. She rolled down her window and said, "Officer, I don’t know if you are aware, but I drove past you and couldn’t see you at all. Your vest was eclipsed by the light of your squad car."
Campbell saw it as an epiphany. He was well aware of the sobering statistics. At least 60 U.S. law enforcement officers perish each year while working near a roadway. Campbell also had a heavy heart for Officer Dale Woods who had been recently struck and killed. He was 46 years old and left behind three children.
He kept asking himself, "Dale was just directing traffic after a road accident when a pickup truck struck him. Could his death have been prevented?"
The night after the kind woman informed him of his visibility challenge, Campbell and colleagues re-created the scene. Sure enough, the lights of the squad car and the highway’s lamp posts lessened the glow of their safety vests. He also obtained the report of the incident involving Woods so that he could determine what could be prevented in the future.
A tinkerer at heart, Campbell, 56, hunkered down in his basement and worked with a variety of materials and batteries. He knew red and blue were off limits since they blended with cruiser lights. Using the purest bright white LED strips on the market, Campbell found the answer: a lit, extremely bright and rechargeable LED vest. It glows for 12 hours through porous fabric through which the strips placed inside the garment project a bright green glow through the small holes. The battery is easily rechargeable and a switch can control the amount of light projected through the vest. It is short enough for officers to easily reach for their side arms and equipment on their belts. Best of all, the Lit Vest illuminates the wearer’s face, distinguishing the presence of an individual apart from any nearby vehicles or competing lights.
Police and sheriff’s departments in California, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin are already using the vest with more squad rooms learning about it daily.
Milford, Ohio, Police Chief Jamey Mills’ 21-officer department has been using the vests for several months. He says he places the investment in the same category as ensuring that his officers have appropriate body armor.
"If I do everything I can to make sure my officers stay safe and can go home to their loved ones after their shift, then I’m doing my job," he believes. "Just about all of us, including myself, have been nearly clipped by a vehicle while on duty at night. If wearing this vest prevents just one accident, it’s worth it."
"The bottom line is that I am passionate about the future of saving lives," says Campbell. "I’m used to working nights and we face enough danger without having to worry about traffic mishaps. If this vest can save just one life, it’s worth the time put into creating it."
For more information on the life-saving Lit Safety Vest visit litsafetyproducts.com or #bestdamnvest on Facebook.
CONTACT: Laura Kroeger
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SOURCE Lit Safety Vest