DOVER — Dover Police Department announced this week that its K9 Gunner has been awarded a ballistic vest.
It comes thanks to a nonprofit organization, Vested Interest in K9s Inc., and Lynda Gordon of Coconut Grove, Fla., provided $1,050 for K9 Gunner’s vest.
The vest will be embroidered with the sentiment, “In loving memory of Corky Gordon” in honor of the family’s loving pet which passed away, Dover PD 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.
Each vest costs $950 and has a 5-year warranty. The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four legged K9 Officers.
Through private and corporate sponsorships, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 1,520 law enforcement dogs in 49 states with protective vests since 2009 at a cost of more than $1.4 million, according to Dover police.
Dover Police Department currently has three working K9s. Gunner joined the department approximately one year ago and is assigned to Patrolman First Class Joseph Bauer.
The city police department said it was thankful to Vested Interest and Ms. Gordon for what it described as a “generous” donation.
“K9s are an important part of the Dover Police Department, assisting in apprehensions, tracking suspects, narcotics searches, and keeping officers safe,” a Dover police news release read. “Obtaining this protective vest will ensure the department’s investment is protected, but more importantly, to protect the K9 wearing it.
“Gunner is an officer like any other officer and places his safety on the line each and every day to protect the citizens of Dover. This vest will ensure that Gunner is just as safe as any other officer. ...
“The Dover Police Department and Gunner will work hard to ensure that the memory of your loving pet is not forgotten.”
A Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. signature tank top is now available online for a $20 donation at http://www.vik9s.org.
Proceeds will provide bullet and stab protective vests, for police dogs actively working without the potentially lifesaving equipment.
The organization orders the U.S. made vests exclusively from distributor Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, Mass., which also does the custom embroidery on the body armor.
New K9 graduates as well as K9’s with expired vests are eligible to participate. The program is open to law enforcement dogs who are U.S. employed, certified and at least 19 months of age.
For more information on Vested Interest in K9s, call 508-824-6978. Tax deductible donations accepted via mail to: Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, Mass., 02718 or the website www.vik9s.org.