Dogs With Jobs

Safety Vests for Police Dogs

Safety Vests for Police Dogs are something I’d never thought about, but vests are just as valuable for police dogs as they are for their handlers. Dogs are just as vulnerable — perhaps more so — as humans are when chasing down and tracking suspects. Since the vests are over 4 times more expensive than human vests, two groups in State College, PA recently donated a vest for Keno, a tracking and narcotics detection dog on the local police force. Here are excerpts from the story recently published on the StateCollege.com website about Safety Vests for Police Dogs:

Chasing and tracking criminal suspects — there’s no completely safe way to do it, State College police Officer Kris Hopkins said.

But for Keno, the department’s 6-year-old police dog, the process just got a lot safer.

Two community groups — the Mount Nittany Dog Training Club and the Nita-Nee Kennel Club — joined forces to buy a $2,100 ballistic vest for the German Shepherd. A military-esque green shade, the vest is resistant to gunfire and stabbing attempts. (A human ballistic vest, by contrast, costs about $500.)

It’s also specially fitted for Keno, who handles a lot of criminal tracking and narcotics detection for State College and nearby police forces. Having arrived in late 2011, the vest now protects Keno just about every time he responds to a call.

“They gave us pretty much the best vest that’s on the market,” said Hopkins, who works closely with Keno. He lives with her, too.

About a year ago, Training Club President Melanie Eng said, she started the fundraising effort for the vest.

“We were having so many armed robberies in the area,” she said, that she became concerned for the dog’s safety. Keno often is a first responder who tries to chase down potentially violent suspects after a robbery or other crimes.

The Kennel Club soon joined the vest fundraising effort, as it has a regular interest in supporting local philanthropy, immediate past club President Steve Brightbill said.

“This was right down our alley,” he said. ” … (Keno) is an excellent example of a working dog and certainly needed protection….”

Have you ever witnessed police dogs in real action, not just the training you see on TV? It’s downright scary! You would think any criminal with even just one little grain of sense would surrender instantly! But, then again, criminals aren’t particularly noted for being sensible.

Read the full story here about Safety Vests for Police Dogs.

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