Police dog to wear protective vest

Geraldine Earthman, an officer with the Grand Junction Police Department, handles rhe department’s K9 crime fighter, Joker. The dog will receive a new $950 ballistic vest from the group Vested Interest in K-9s.

Joker is getting a vest.

The Grand Junction Police Department recently learned that Joker, the department’s K9 crime fighter, will get a new ballistic vest from the group Vested Interest in K-9s.

Joker has been with the department since 2011.

The vest comes courtesy of a nationwide Groupon event conceived to raise money for bullet- and stab-protective vests for K9s at agencies across the country, according to the Grand Junction Police Department.

The Groupon event raised more than $335,000 through a suggested $10 donation, according to the Vested Interest in K-9s website (http://www.vik9s.org).

The vests cost $950 each and have a five-year warranty, according to the website.

Since 2009, the not-for-profit group has provided 585 law enforcement dogs in 39 states with protective vests.

New K9 graduates as well as K9s with expired vests are eligible to participate in the program, according to the website.

The program is open to law enforcement dogs who are employed in the United States, certified and at least 19 months old.

There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement dogs in the United States, according to Vested Interest in K-9s, “four-legged crime fighters who put their lives on the line for the community and their partner,” according to the group’s website.

For information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 508-824-6978.


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