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PETERSBURG – A national non-profit group has taken a personal interest in the city’s K9 police officer … literally.
The dog named Odin gets a protective vest from Vested Interest in K9s [VIK9s] Inc., said the Petersburg police on Saturday. The bulletproof armor, which also protects Odin from stab wounds, is expected to arrive in 8-10 weeks, the department said in a statement.
Vested Interest in K9s is a 12-year-old charity that donates dog armor to police departments across the country, the Petersburg police said. Each vest is individually tailored to the dog and certified as protection by the National Institute of Justice. Dogs that are at least 20 months old and on active duty with a law enforcement agency may receive the equipment.
Petersburg police said Odin’s vest will be embroidered with the phrase “Born to Love – Trained to Serve – Loyal Always”.
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According to the charity’s website, the vests come with heavy-duty zippers and Velcro to make it easier for the dog to get on and off. They are made of durable materials and offer “maximum coverage of vital organs,” the website says.
The vests weigh 4.5 pounds each and have breathable mesh that makes them comfortable to wear in all weather conditions, says VIK9s. There are police ID tags on the sides.
Vests are paid for with donations, according to VIK9s, and a $ 960 donation will cover a vest. The cost of making vests ranges from $ 1,744 to $ 2,283.
Since 2009, VIK9s has reportedly donated more than 4,300 vests to law enforcement agencies in all 50 states, valued at an estimated $ 6.9 million.
In addition to body protection, VIK9s also offers health insurance for the police dogs as well as first aid and NARCAN sets.
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Seasoned journalist Bill Atkinson (he / he / his) is the regional daily news trainer for the Unified Central group of the USA TODAY Network’s Southeast Region, which includes Virginia, West Virginia and parts of North Carolina. He works at The Progress-Index in Petersburg, Virginia. Contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @BAtkinson_PI.