HARRISBURG — Thanks to a donation from a non-profit organization and a local sponsorship, Swatara Township Police K9 Officer J.T. will receive a new bullet and stab protective vest, the police department announced Friday.
The donation comes from Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., police say. It is sponsored by a fundraiser hosted by Maria Krzyszton of Alden Associates at Interger Holdings.
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 across the country. It was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers, police say.
Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 3,500 U.S. made, custom fitted, NIJ certified 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.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950, according to police. Each vest has a value between $1,744 and $2,283 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of four or five pounds.
For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at http://www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718. K-9
J.T. is a German Shepherd / Belgian Malinois mix and was selected by his handler, Corporal Timothy Bloss, on May 25, 2018. He is certified in Narcotics Detection, Tracking, Obedience, Article Searches, Area Searches, Building Searches, & Aggression Control.
When K-9 J.T. is not at work, he enjoys playing with his family and taking walks every day, according to police.