The Tyrone Police Department’s new K-9, Bruno, will soon be outfitted with protective gear designed to help him stay safe while fighting crime.
“Bruno will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.,” said Chief Brandon Perkins. “K-9 Bruno’s vest is sponsored by an anonymous donor and will be embroidered with the sentiment ‘This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.,‘” Perkins said.
Perkins said delivery is expected within eight to 10 weeks.
A 2-year-old German Shepherd, Bruno was purchased by the agency in September with the proceeds from a fundraiser that was hosted by The Ohio Hog Company, a local restaurant, said Perkins.
“The K-9 team, which consists of Bruno and his handler Sgt. Jacob Collins, is primarily tasked with narcotics detection, but they are also trained in tracking,” according to Perkins. “The latter will be beneficial in searching for missing persons or criminals should they choose to run from the police.”
Upon learning of the approval for the vest donation, Chief Brandon Perkins said, “We are extremely appreciative of the generosity of Vested Interest in K9s and their donors. Bruno is a valuable member of our agency so having him better protected out in the field is important to us.”
Perkins said the donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K-9 is $1,050. Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234 and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K-9s throughout the United States, Perkins said.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, Mass., whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially life saving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 2,200 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 1.9 million dollars. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, Mich.
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 K-9 graduates, as well as K-9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or by mail to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.