By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Three Platte County Sheriff K9 officers will soon receive body armor thanks to a charitable donation.
K9 officers Pancho, Picolo and Toro will receive bullet and stab protective vests as the result of a donation from the nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s, which provides these type of vests to law enforcement and related agency animals.
Pancho’s vest is sponsored by Scott and Carol Pollard of Big Flats, New Yorkm and will be embroidered with the sentiment, “In memory of Boreal.”
Picolo’s vest is sponsored by Robin Zoller of Latham, New York and will be embroidered with the sentiment “Born to Love – Trained to Serve – Loyal Always.”
Toro’s vest will be embroidered with the sentiment, “In honor of Chief Mark Estell, Jerome, Illinois.”
A request for comment placed to the sheriff’s department wasn’t immediately returned.
Delivery of the vests is expected in to eight to 10 weeks. The body armor for the K9 officers is U.S.-made and custom-fitted.
Since its inception in 2009, Vested Interest has provided more than 4,210 vests to K9 officers in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.
Each vest has a value of $1,744 to $2,283, weighs an average of 4-5 lbs., and comes with a five-year warranty.
The program is open to U.S. dogs at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies.
There are an estimated 30,000 K9 officers in the United States.