LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Comanche County Sheriff's Department is set to get some extra protection for their K-9 deputies. The department announced Thursday a national non-profit organization called "Vested Interests in K-9s" responded to the department's request for bullet and stab proof vests.
Some of the K-9 handlers who work with their four legged partners every day saw this opportunity and put in a request to be sponsored. An anonymous donor and the BIC corporation stepped in, and soon these K-9s and their officers will be getting peace of mind.
"It's also a rewarding deal that we are going to be able to protect them like we do our deputies," Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley said.
Stradley said just as he was starting out his career as sheriff the county got their first K-9 officers.
"We've been doing it probably close to 30 years," Stradley said.
In that time, an opportunity to protect the K-9 officers, like Sam, haven't come up.
"We got chosen to get two and we are going to put in for two more so that all four of our dogs have them," Stradley said.
The $1,400 to $2,000 dollar vests are much like the bulletproof vests their human counterparts wear. In the event that the K-9 has to defend or enter an unsafe space, they are wrapped in protection.
"A lot of dogs have been killed across the United States by suspects, stuff like that," Stradley said. "This will enable us to protect the dog better."
Working off donations and sponsorships, Vested Interest in K-9s awarded two vests for the department. Soon, K-9 officers like Sam will be out on calls with his handler less worried about his well-being.
"The dog is just like their children. And they really are thrilled about us being able to protect them dogs," Stradley said.
The vests won't be in for another 6 to 8 weeks, and the sheriff's department is working on getting sponsors for two more vests to outfit their entire K-9 unit. You can log onto VIK9s.org to make a donation or sponsor an entire vest.