Phoenix Police K-9 unit gets new bulletproof vests

Phoenix Police K-9s are receiving some extra protection while they're out on the job: new bulletproof vests.

Last year, a K-9 was injured in a shooting in north Phoenix. After that incident, the nonprofit K9s of Valor reached out to see how they can better protect these police dogs.

"The K-9 unit has a very specific mission, and with that mission comes unknown hazards," said Lieutenant Roy Chalmers with Phoenix Police. 

The Phoenix K-9 unit is thankful to receive the donation.  

"This very generous donation will give that handler and that team the confidence that we are sending our K-9s into potentially hazardous situations with the greatest protection that's on the market today," Chalmers said.

The nonprofit was able to raise enough money to purchase three bulletproof vests, and they're raising more to cover all 19 canines in the unit.

 "They’re very special," said sergeant Andy Williams. "They’re custom fit to every dog, they are light weight. They’re maneuverable, but they are expensive. Each costs $3000."

The vest is also stab-proof and cut resistant. Each vest comes with an embroidered signature with the dog's name, police department and who the donor is.

K-9 Dennis was shot while searching a homicide scene in north Phoenix. He's now recovered and back at work with his own vest, along with Luki and Turbo.

"It’s bit of a relief knowing that we have a little added protection," said officer Ron Dorfman. "It doesn’t change our mission, it doesn’t mean we are going to send our dog into danger. We are going to do the things we do on a everyday basis."

The unit hopes to have all of the K-9s protected by the end of summer.

Learn more about K9s of Valor:

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