Washington County K9 Officer Receives Protective Vest

K9 Ranger

WASHINGTON COUNTY (KFSM) — One local K9 officer has received a bullet and stab proof vest thanks to a charitable donation from a non-profit organization.

K9 ‘Ranger’ is a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois and has served with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office since October of 2011.  During his time with the Sheriff’s Office, Ranger and his handler, Sergeant T.J. Rennie, have tracked persons who were evading officers, located large amounts of illegal drugs, and most recently tracked and located two lost hikers, one of whom was suffering from a medical event.

A donation in the amount of $65,825 was presented to Vested Interest in K9’s, Inc. from the “Help Officer Hickey Vest K9s” online fundraiser. The funds were raised through nationwide donations in efforts to help retired Officer Matt Hickey of Marietta, Ohio keep his partner, ‘Ajax’ upon retirement. Officer Hickey was able to purchase ‘Ajax’ for the sum of $1 and the balance was donated to Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The non-profit will be providing 62 law enforcement dogs from across the nation with vests thanks to the generous donation.

All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, Michigan and has a value between $1,795 and $2,234, a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4 to 5 pounds.

A release from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said, “We are thankful for the generous donation by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. of this potentially lifesaving equipment for K9 ‘Ranger’, who is a valuable part of our law enforcement family.”


  • Jason Smith

    Serious question. How are dogs considered law enforcement officers? They can’t be sworn in. They don’t understand the implications of their actions. In the most straight forward terms, they are a piece of equipment, but with a heartbeat. Before anyone get’s upset, think about why K-9s are used. They don’t understand that a gun is dangerous. They don’t understand that the knife is dangerous. They don’t understand that the suspect is high and therefore more dangerous. They are not capable of understanding these things. So how are they considered law enforcement officers? By the way, I have worked with K-9 units in the past in a law enforcement capacity, so I’m not some uninformed novice.

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