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Maricopa County K-9s receive bullet-, stab-proof vests

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX — Six of Maricopa County’s K-9s have been given some added security thanks to a donation of bullet- and stab-proof protective vests.

Regarding the importance of the vests sergeant Joaquin Enriquez, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said, “They are at the front lines of the danger. The vests go a long way because its an added protection for their safety.”

The donation came from a nonprofit organization based in East Taunton, Mass. called Vested Interest in K-9s.

The agency hoped to work with the nonprofit to eventually fit all of their 40 K-9s with vests.

The six K-9s — Karl, Ryker, Bach, Hero, Osa and Bull — will be fitted with 4- to 5-pound vests that were valued between $1,744 and $2,283. All of the vests will be embroidered with special sentiments at the requests of the sponsors.

Ryker, Bach, Hero, and Osa’s vests will be embroidered with, “In memory of K-9 Ty, California City Police Department.”

Karl’s vest will be embroidered with, “In memory of Johanne L. Walker.”

Bull’s vest will be embroidered with, “In honor of Sadie Keller.”

Vested Interest in K-9s was established in 2009 to provide protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The group has provided over 2,600 protective vests in 50 states since its inception.

K-9 units are used for many police tasks, most notably in narcotics, bomb, and SWAT units. The animals are also occasionally used on patrol units. They are highly valued because of their loyalty and sense of smell.

KTAR News’ Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

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