TEXARKANA — The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department (TAPD) announced Friday the donation of a bullet and stab proof vest for K9 Kashko.
The protective vest was donated by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
K9 Kashko is currently assigned to handler officer Tanner Freeman in the special operations section. The K9 team is frequently utilized in high-risk situations, and TAPD says they are pleased K9 Kashko is no protected with a ballistic vest.
Established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies in procurement of protective vests for K9 units, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c(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.
In roughly 11 years of existence, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 3,800 U.S.-made, custom fitted, NIJ certified protective vests in 50 states. Over $6.9 million worth of donations have been made through private and corporate partnerships to outfit K9s with protective vests. There are an estimated 30,000 K9 units in the United Staets. The donation to provide a vest is $960, and each vest has a value between $1,744 and $2,283 with a five-year warranty and an average weight of four to five pounds.
The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. in law enforcement and related agencies who are at least 20 months old.