MANSFIELD, OH (WOIO) - The Mansfield Division of Police announced Wednesday a gift that will provide much needed on-the-job protection to their K-9 officer Mekel.
The Vested Interest bullet and stab resistant vest was sponsored by Prosecutor, Gary D. Bishop and was embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by Richland County Prosecutor’s Office."
Police described the organization’s mission in a Facebook post:
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 3,100 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $5.7 million dollars.
The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K-9 graduates, as well as K-9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
For more information on Vested Interest in K9s, visit their website.