St. Pete Police Dogs to Get Body Armor
The nine vests are a gift from local sponsors and the nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
ST. PETERSBURG – This city’s police dogs will soon have extra protection against injury when tangling with bad guys.
All nine dogs will receive a bullet- and stab-protective vest from Vested Interest in K9s, a Massachusetts charity that specializes in providing bullet- and stab-protective vests and other
assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the U.S. The donation is made possible through local sponsors. Delivery of the vests is expected in 8 to 10 weeks.
“The vests will give us peace of mind in high risk situations, knowing the K9’s will be protected,” St. Petersburg police K9 trainer, Officer Jeremy Krzysiak, said.
Vested Interest in K9s was established in 2009 to help law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.provided more than 2,400 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of more than $1.9 million dollars. All vests are custom made in the U.S. by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050.00. Each vest has a value between $1,795 and $2,234, a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the U.S.
The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
Michael and Kim Kraft sponsored vests for St Petersburg K9s Mafia, Ares, Crush, Tyson and Nero. Their vests will be embroidered with the sentiment “Because you give so much and ask for so little – M & K.”
Kristan Coad of St. Petersburg sponsored vests for Danno, Stitch and Titan. Danno’s vest will be embroidered with the sentiment “Born to love – Trained to serve – Loyalalways.” Stitch and Titan’s vests will be embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.”
An anonymous donation was responsible for Maverick’s vest, which will be embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.”
For information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call Vested Interest at (508) 824-6978. To donate to Vested Interest in K9s, go to vik9s.org or mail it to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.
For information about the St. Petersburg Police Department’s K9 unit, go to police.stpete.org.
Photos courtesy of the St. Petersburg Police Department.
St. Petersburg Police | K9 Unit | Police Dogs | Dog Vests | TB Reporter
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