Friday, March 23, 2018

HPD receives donation for body armor for K-9 officers

HPD receives donation for body armor for K-9 officers
Posted: Feb 28, 2018
Categories: Front Page, Headlines
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HAMMOND---Hammond Police Department K9s Bishop, Roko, and Koa will receive bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a charitable donation from nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Bishop’s vest is embroidered with the sentiment "In memory of K9 Ike, Vancouver Police Department" and K9s Roko and Koa’s vests are embroidered with the sentiment "In memory of K9 Ty, California City Police Department." Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.

Relaunched in 2016, the HPD's K-9 Unit is a 6-member team comprised of 3 officers and their canine partners: Michael Norwood and Bishop, a 3-year-old German Shepherd; Darren Johnson and Koa, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois-German Shepherd mix; and Kris Schilling and Roko, a 3-year-old German Shepherd. Combined, the officers bring 35 years of experience to the Unit. And each officer and his canine partner have completed over 600 hours of training in handling, patrol, and narcotics detection through the United States Police Canine Association and the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501(c)(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 nonprofit 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. has provided over 2,800 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 2.4 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.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744–$2,283, a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4–5 lbs. There are 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 or mailed to PO Box 9, East Taunton MA 02718.