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Murrieta police dog is first in department to receive body armor

By in Press Enterprise on July 28, 2017

By Alex Groves Rocky, a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois, received a stab- and bullet-proof vest for his duties as part of the Murrieta Police Department. He received the vest from a nonprofit group in Massachusetts (courtesy of Murrieta Police Department).

Murrieta police K-9 Rocky was looking extra stylish while he was on the job recently, and he was probably a lot safer for it.

That’s because Rocky, a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois, was wearing a bullet- and stab-safe vest emblazoned with the word “Police K-9” that he received thanks to a charitable donation from Vested Interest in K9s, a nonprofit group based in Massachusetts.

The Murrieta Police Department announced Wednesday, July 26, that Rocky had received the vest.

Five Murrieta police dogs have each been awarded vests from the organization, but Rocky is the first one to actually receive one, according to the Police Department.

The remaining members of the K-9 team — three patrol dogs and a bloodhound — will be receiving their vests soon. Murrieta police Lt. Jon Flavin said the delivery dates depend on when the manufacturer makes them.

The vests cost from $1,795 to $2,234, but they are donated by the organization. The vests weigh about 4 to 5 pounds.

Vested Interest in K9s is a charity in East Taunton, Mass., that provides the vests to dogs working for public safety agencies. So far the organization has provided vests to more than 2,600 dogs across 50 states at a cost of more than $2.1 million.

The program is open to dogs from law enforcement and related agencies who are at least 20-months-old. Recent K-9 graduates, as well as dogs that have expired vests, can participate.

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