Local police dog to get free bullet-proof vest

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(St. Louis County Police Department)

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – A four-legged member of the St. Louis County Police Department will receive a ballistic and stab-proof vest courtesy of a national nonprofit.

Vested Interest in K9s Inc. (VIK9s), a charity in East Taunton, Massachusetts, announced Tuesday that a Missouri couple, Wayne and Sybille Macke, donated $1,050 to provide a vest to K9 officer Ben. The vest will be embroidered with the saying “Protection in memory of Marley.” Delivery is expected in 8 to 10 weeks.

Ben, a 3-year-old Labrador retriever, is certified in explosive detection, tracking, and article searches. He received his formal K9 training at Von der haus Gill German Shepherds in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

Each vest costs between $1,795 and $2,234 and carries a five-year warranty. The vests are manufactured by Armor Express in Central Lake, Michigan and distributed by Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

New K9 graduates or veteran police dogs with expired vests are eligible to receive a vest via the program. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 508-824-6978. Donations can be made online at VIK9s.org or by mail to:

Vested Interest in K9s Inc.
P.O. Box 9
East Taunton, MA 02718

Donations are tax deductible.

Established in 2009, VIK9s has provided nearly 2,400 police dogs in all 50 states with ballistic vests, a total of more than $1.9 million.