North Port Police Department’s K9s get donation of body armor
North Port Police
North Port Police Department’s K9s Nero, Bear, Dutch and Jett will receive bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vests are sponsored by Don and Misty Fike of Galesburg, IL and will be embroidered with the sentiment “Honoring those who served and sacrificed”. Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA 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 non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 3,830 U.S. made, custom fitted, NIJ certified protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $6.9 million dollars.
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.
NPPD has four canine teams. The K-9 teams are certified to Florida State standards by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and United States Police Canine Association standards for patrol, narcotics detection, evidence detection, explosive device protection, and missing persons. “These dogs get put into harm’s way all the time, being able to give them one more line of protection is the least we can do for our four legged partners. We’re very thankful,” says Sgt Tony Donohew who heads the unit for NPPD.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $960.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. 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 mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.