The new vests provide protection from bullets as well as knives. All four ACPD dogs have been equipped with vests. | Submitted
The new vests provide protection from bullets as well as knives. All four ACPD dogs have been equipped with vests. | Submitted

Archived Story

Police K-9s receive new tool to keep them safe

Published 8:06pm Friday, December 6, 2013

Four Alexander City Police Officers have a little more protection now.

Carik, Oz, Jake and Tucker – ACPD’s four police K-9s – all have bullet and stab protective vests.

Sgt. Chris Spivey said the vests were made possible thanks to a Massachusetts-based non-profit group Vested Interest in K9s.

“We were able to find this program and apply for it,” Spivey said. “They donated everything to us.”

Vested Interests in K9s Inc. is a 501c(3) all-volunteer charity whose mission is to provide vests for law enforcement dogs throughout the United States.

Each vest costs $950 and comes with a 5-year warranty.

Spivey said that the dogs will not wear the vests all the time, but instead the vests will be available for when the situation warrants.

“Carik, our tracking dog, will have it on when he is in a situation that puts him in harms way,” Spivey said. “They will be most useful in times that they have to go inside a house, though most times the house will be cleared before we go in.”

Vested Interests in K9s began in August 2009 and has provided 435 dogs with vests in 35 states. The organization has donated more than $400,000 in vests thanks to fundraising efforts from regional and national Groupon campaigns.

ACPD touts two narcotics dogs, one bomb dog and one tracking dog. The dogs aid the department in a variety of ways, Spivey said. Narcotics dogs are used  to help locate and keep drugs out of local schools, as well as being useful during narcotic arrests. Tracking wise, Carik is able to track lost individuals, such as an elderly person who has wandered away, or criminals that have fled scenes.

“These vests will keep them safe,” Spivey said. “You never know when you will come up on a suspect that we are after or what that individual may be armed with.”

Spivey said he was grateful for the program, as it would be difficult for the department to foot the bill to put vests on all the dogs.