• Erie Co. Blotter.

Erie County K9 Receives Bullet, Stab Protective Vest

Buffalo, NY – Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announces Erie County Sheriff’s Office K9 Cort has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Cort’s vest is embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9’s, Inc”.

Deputy Grabar and Cort have been partners for 5 years and have received several certifications including tracking, narcotic detection, area and building search, and handler protection. In addition to their normal patrol duties, this team is part of the Erie County Sheriff’s SWAT Team and provides an extra element during SWAT operations.

Deputy Grabar appreciatively stated, “I am grateful for the donation because the vest not only protects my partner but gives me peace of mind when we respond to any incident.”

This is the first vest deployed to a Police Services canine and the Sheriff’s office will apply for additional canine vests when the new dogs become eligible for the program.

Sheriff Howard explained, “This is a great program and Vested Interest in K9s is a tremendous law enforcement supporter. These vests cost as much, if not more than vests worn by my human deputies and without their generous donation we would have to take money from other programs to buy the canine vests. We are all grateful to Vested Interest in K9s.”

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 2,100 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 1.9 million dollars. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.

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 law enforcement K9 is $1,050.00. Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234 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.

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