K-9 units have become an integral part of modern police departments and they provide an invaluable service in keeping both police officers and the public safe. The unique role of police K-9’s puts them in very dangerous environments where they are at great risk of being maimed or killed. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 118 K-9’s have been killed in the line of duty over the last 10 years. Of those, 38 have died as a result of being stabbed or shot. Police officers have addressed these dangers for themselves through the use of ballistic vests, but K-9’s are rarely afforded same level of protection. There are currently no government funded programs for police K-9 vest acquisition and so the burden of funding them falls to individual departments and the general public.
Fortunately, there are a variety of non-profit charitable organizations that assist in providing K-9 ballistic vests to departments. Citizens can donate to any number of programs to assist in buying K-9 bulletproof and stab proof vests. If you have an interest in contributing contact your local, county, or state police agency. This is also an area a police foundation can become involved in products to protect the K-9 officers.
The IACP/DuPont™ Kevlar® Survivors’ Club® recognizes officers who have survived a life threatening incident because they were wearing their personal body armor. We actively promote safety through vest usage and officer safety overall. Please visit the Survivors’ Club website to read more about this program. It is our hope that by honoring those officers saved by the vest, the Survivors’ Club® program will reinforce the message of wearing body armor daily for all who wear the badge.
For more information about the Survivors’ Club please visit www.theiacp.org/survivorsclub.