GOODYEAR, Ariz. — One of Goodyear’s police K-9 units now has less to worry about while serving Arizona residents.
The Goodyear Police Department announced the donation of a K-9 ballistic vest from the Sahuaro State Kennel Club at the Arizona State Fairgrounds on Sunday, February 3.
“We chose Goodyear because it is a small police department that normally doesn’t have the funds to purchase equipment like this for their dogs,” Marilyn Little, president of the Sahuaro State Kennel Club said. “[The dogs] protect and serve us just as much as the officers do.”
Usually when people think of safety for police officers, they often think of Kevlar vests. These vests have saved countless numbers of officer’s lives when they put themselves in harm’s way, but when officers carry out search warrants, raid drug houses or deal with dangerous criminals K-9’s are usually with them every step of the way.
Kathy Painter, a member of the Sahuaro State Kennel Club for nearly 25 years, said every year the kennel makes charitable donations and she suggested this year the donation be made to Goodyear police.
“When they mentioned that they wanted to give a vest to a city on the west side, I asked if I could contact Goodyear and see if they needed one,” Painter said.
She said the department was in need and that all of Goodyear’s K-9 vests have been acquired through donations.
Sgt. Sean Clark of Goodyear police said there are many different types of vests K-9 units use depending on what type of duty the dog is intended to perform. He said Goodyear police dogs only use vests designed for patrol and narcotics duty.
“The ones we have are stab and ballistic resistant,” Clark said.
The vest donated Sunday was specifically designed for Goodyear’s K-9 unit Leroy, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois who works with patrol and SWAT teams.
Clark said their department has made a shift from using the German shepherd breed, which is commonly used in law enforcement, because the Belgian breeds are more available and don’t have hip dysplasia problems that German shepherds often do.
Though only a singular donation was made, it was no small order because high-end K-9 vests can be very expensive. The vest given to Leroy was custom made by the company K9 Storm in Canada for $2,500.
“A lot of the cheaper vests are just like a blanket with straps on them, it doesn’t run with the dog,” Clark said. “These vests are just a lot more comfortable for the dog.”
Besides providing protection, Clark said the vest can be used as a harness to lift or lower the dog as necessary.
“If we had to lower him into a building or something like that, it’s built to hold that dog up,” Clark said.
The Goodyear Police Department currently has four K-9 units and Sunday’s donation marked the second donation of a vest to Goodyear Police.
Ballistic vests go a long way to protect K-9 units from harm which is important considering the time and money invested in each dog.
Goodyear Police K-9s are selected from breeders in Europe and each dog comes with a price tag of around $10,000 Clark said.
Most dogs enter service between the ages of two and four years old, and usually work for the department until they are seven or eight years old.
Clark said at one of their units though, a narcotics dog named Tornado, is 10 years old and still serving thanks to advancements in medical care.
“Our vet goes so far as doing adjustments on their back,” Clark said. “He is chiropractic certified, so he’ll even adjust their back and stuff.”
Officers who handle K-9 units for the Goodyear police also go through a lot of work to train the dogs. Officers must have worked in the department for two years and go through a special selection process to become handlers. After being selected, the officer and dog go through an eight to 10 week training program, after which K-9s and their handlers are deployed full-time.
Now with another K-9 of the Goodyear Police Department better protected, residents of Goodyear should feel comfortable that not only is their investment in the dog safe, but also the life of a hardworking civil servant is well protected too.
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon