Vidor K9 officer gets ballistic vest

K9 Rocky

 The Vidor Police Department recently announced the donation of a ballistic vest for K-9 Officer Rocky, and thanked the organization that provided the protective gear, which was donated by Vested Interest in K-9s.

Vested Interest in K9s Inc. is a 501(c)(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. The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially life-saving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s has provided over 3,100 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $5.7 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. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 pounds. There are approximately 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, 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.

The vest was given in honor of Canton, Ohio, K9 Officer Jethro, who was killed in the line of duty by a burglary suspect on Jan. 10, 2010.

Jethro

K9 Jethro succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained while attempting to apprehend a burglar inside a grocery store at 1272 Harrison Avenue SW the previous morning.

Officers had responded to an alarm activation at approximately 1:15 a.m. and located the subject inside. The subject disobeyed officers' commands, and Jethro was deployed. The subject opened fire, striking Jethro three times. The man then fled and continued firing at officers, who returned fire.

The man was taken into custody a short time later after he was found suffering a gunshot wound to his leg. He was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 34 years in prison for killing Jethro and 11 years for burglary, with the sentences to run consecutively.

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