“Redd,” the Salt River Police Department’s (SRPD) K9 officer, has received a lifesaving protective vest thanks to Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., a nonprofit whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs working with law enforcement and related agencies nationwide.
Redd is a 5-year-old German shepherd who has been with the SRPD K9 Unit for two years. His handler and partner is Off. Darryl Garcia, an 18-year veteran of the police department. The vest is designed to protect vital organs in the event Redd gets into a physical altercation and the assailant has a knife or firearm.
“We are thankful to the Vested Interest in K9s program,” said Salt River Police Chief Patrick Melvin. “Redd can now respond with even more confidence as a result of this new ballistic protection.”
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c(3) nonprofit that was established to assist law-enforcement agencies with potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Through private and corporate sponsorships, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 1560 law enforcement dogs in 49 states with protective vests since 2009 at a cost of over $1.4 million dollars. Each vest costs $1,050 and comes with a five-year warranty.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. also sells signature tank tops online at www.vik9s.org for a $20 donation. Proceeds will provide funds necessary to provide more protective vests to new K9 graduates or K9 officers with expired vests. Twhis program is open to law-enforcement dogs who are U.S. employed, certified and at least 19 months of age.
Tax-deductible donations are accepted by U.S. mail to: Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718. For more information or to donate online, visit www.vik9s.org.