Bulletproof Vests Donated For Bentonville K-9 Units

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BENTONVILLE (KFSM) – The K-9 units with the Bentonville Police Department each received a new bulletproof vest thanks to PetArmor, Walmart and Sam’s Club and nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s.

Three vests (the equivalent of $2,850) were donated to the Bentonville Police Department so each K-9 unit would have one, according to a news release.

The Bentonville Police Department’s three K-9 units are:

  • Tyson, a six-year-old German Shepherd
  • Merlin, a seven-year-old German Shepherd
  • Nico, a five-year-old Belgian Malinois

“Our K-9s give their new vests a tail-wagging approval as they continue to protect the citizens of Bentonville,” said Bentonville K-9 officer Cpl. Guary Morgan.

Most police departments do not have the budget to purchase K-9 protective vests, and each vest costs $950, the release states. As a result, some police dogs are left unprotected while fighting crime.

Tyson and Nico are dual-purpose dogs certified in patrol, tracking and drug detection. Merlin is a dual-purpose dog certified in patrol, tracking and explosive detection.

Tyson and Nico have both conducted many searches for illegal drugs that resulted in thousands of dollars’ worth of drugs being removed from the area.

In the past, Merlin worked with the Secret Service protecting U.S. presidents, the release states. He is also available to sweep buildings in the event of bomb threats.

Vested Interest in K9s is a charity located in East Taunton, Mass., and their mission is to “provide bullet- and stab-protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States.”

Each vest costs $950 and has a five-year warranty, the release states.

Vested Interest in K9s was started in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with getting body armor for their police dogs. Through private and corporate scholarships, the organization has provided more than 1,350 police dogs in 49 states with protective vests at a cost of more than $1.2 million, according to the release.

“New K-9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests are eligible to participate. The program is open to law enforcement dogs that are U.S. employed, certified and at least 19 months of age,” the release states.

For more information about the charity, click here. PetArmor is a brand belonging to Perrigo Animal Health.