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West Valley City police dogs are getting ballistic vests

Published January 19, 2015 3:59 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Six West Valley City police dogs are about to receive vests to protect them from guns, knives and tire irons, thanks to a Massachusetts non-profit.

The six canines — Copper, Taz, Lobo, Halo, Sam and Chief — will receive the ballastic vests on Tuesday. The vests help protect them from "shots, stabbings, explosives, and blunt force trauma such as being kicked, punched, or beaten with a weapon or other dangerous object such as a bat or tire iron," according to a West Valley City police news release.

In December 2013, a naked man allegedly bit Lobo's neck and clawed at his face while police were trying to take the man into custody in a Costco parking lot. Lobo was not badly hurt and returned to work the next day, Deputy Police Chief Mike Powell said at the time.

Copper, a bloodhound, also made local headlines last month after finding a missing Herriman boy who had fallen down an open manhole.

The vests came from Vested Interest in K9s, a charity in East Taunton, Mass., which outfits police dogs around the country. The charity had partnered with Groupon for a fundraiser, which collected more than $335,000 last year to buy the vests and distribute them nationwide, according to the release.

All of the vests, which cost $950 and have a 5-year warranty, are embroidered with "In Memory of K9 Rocco, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police." Rocco died in January 2014 after a man allegedly stabbed him during an arrest, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

In all, 350 police dogs across the country will receive the vests.

- Michael McFall

Twitter: @mikeypanda






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