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Erie County K9 gets bullet and stab protective vest

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Posted at 12:08 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 12:08:14-05

When officers enter a dangerous situation, they make sure to wear bullet proof vests. But dogs helping law enforcement need protection too.

Erie County K9 Cort received a bullet and stab protective vest donation for just such protection.

The vest was donated by a non-profit organization - Vest Interest in K9s, Inc. - and is embroidered to say, "This gift of protection provided by Vest Interest in K9's, Inc."

Deput Grabar and Cort have been partners for five years and have received several certifications. The Erie County Sheriff's Office say in addition to normal patrol duties, the duo is also an extra element during SWAT operations.

"I am grateful for the donation because the vest not only protects my partner but gives me peace of mind when we respond to any incident," said Deputy Grabar.

This is the first vest used by a Police Services canine. The Sheriff's Office says it will apply for more when the new dogs become eligible for the program.

"This is a great program and Vested Interest in K9s is a tremendous law enforcement supporter," said Sheriff Timothy Howard. "These vests cost as much, if not more than vests worn by my human deputies and without their generous donation we would have to take money from other programs to buy the canine vests. We are all grateful to Vested Interest in K9s."

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a non-profit dedicated to providing assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. It was established in 2009 to help law enforcement agencies with this potentially life-saving body armor. Since then it has provided over 2,100 protective vests in 50 states through private and corporate donations and a cost of over $1.9 million. The donation for one protective vest is $1,050; each vest costs between $1,795 and $2,234.

For more information, visit www.vik9s.org.