The Alhambra Police Department was awarded on Wednesday a ballistic vest for one of their law enforcement dogs, Enzo. The vest comes from Vested Interest in K9s Inc., a non-profit that provides law enforcement dogs with protective gear. The vest, which will arrive in a couple weeks, is intended to defend Enzo from bullets and sharp weapons.
Enzo and his handler, Corporal Kevin Laing, assist with searching for and apprehending suspects, locating narcotics, and recovering weapons and evidence that a suspect may discard during a police pursuit. Enzo will wear the vest while looking for and subduing suspects. Enzo and Laing have trained together for three years and accumulated over 700 hours of training, the APD said in a press release.
A police dog was shot and killed Wednesday in Hemet, CA while assisting with the search for a wanted felon. The dog was shot in the neck, returned to police officers, and died after he was taken to a local veterinarian, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Liang expressed gratitude for the vest, which he applied for in the summer of 2014. “In light of the K-9 that was sadly shot and killed in Hemet, California recently, it’s good to know my partner will soon be protected,” Liang said in a press release.
APD has three law enforcement dogs, one of which already has a ballistic vest. Sergeant Jerry Johnson noted that this particular dog will "never be put in a situation that would need a vest."
Protective vests for K-9s are valued at $950 but will be provided to APD free of charge. Since 2009, Vested Interest in K9s has also provided vests for dogs to police departments in Gilroy, Mill Creek, Montebello, and other agencies around the country, totaling upwards of $1.1 million in donations.