MONROE, CONN. – One of the Monroe Police Department’s four-footed officers will be a little safer now, thanks to some free body armor.
Murphy, as the police dog is fondly known, got the stab- and bullet-proof vest from the nonprofit, Vested Interest in K9s Inc., and manufacturer Armor Express.
As part of an incentive program, one free vest is awarded for every 15 vests purchased by the Taunton, Mass., charitable organization.
There are an estimated 30,000 police dogs working around the United States.
So far, Vested Interest in K9s has handed out more than 2,300 protective vests, worth more than a total of $1.9 million, in 50 states.
A donation of $1,050 buys a vest worth between $1,795 and $2,234, according to the nonprofit.
The program is open to all dogs actively employed with law enforcement or related agencies. They have to be certified and at least 20 months old.
New K9 graduates, as well as those with "expired" vests, are eligible to participate.
Each vest weighs about four or five pounds and carries a five-year warranty.
For more information about Vested Interests, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call (508) 824-6978.
The organization provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or if mailed to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, Mass., 02718.