Xato, a K-9 partner for Springdale Police Department Officer Irvin, has received a bulletproof vest as a gift, according to a news release from Lt. Derek Hudson, Public Information Officer for the Springdale Police Department.
Xato and Irvin were visiting the TG Smith Elementary school when a student asked why Irvin had a vest but Xato didn’t.
Irvin told the children that he hoped to get Xato a vest someday but explained it was difficult because of the high price.
Afterwards, the children began to raise funds in order to get Xato a vest.
“The school had a ‘hat day’ which meant you could wear a hat to school if you paid a dollar. Then, Officer Irvin and Xato were asked to come back to the school. When they walked through the cafeteria door, the curtain opened, revealing students holding a large check for $800,” the news release stated.
According to Police Chief Kathy O’Kelley, the new K-9 vest the money bought has the school emblem on it to serve as a constant reminder of what they did.
Police K-9 units often face extreme danger in their job. They’re often sent ahead of officers to search buildings and woods for armed suspects.
Thanks to the children and teachers of TG Smith Elementary School, Xato now has extra protection to help keep him safe on the job.