K-9 Officer to Receive Free Vest

By: Lauren Schmoll Email
By: Lauren Schmoll Email

RIO GRANDE, Ohio (WSAZ) -- When Sergeant Joshua Davies heads out on a call in the village of Rio Grande, he knows his partner has his back. And now, Joshua has hers. With one lucky click, he found a way to get K-9 Officer Smilla her very own bulletproof vest.

“It was on Facebook one day on one of the pages that I liked had it on that page,” Sergeant Davies said. “Started browsing through it. Started reading about it.”

Joshua applied for a grant to purchase the vest. The day after he applied, he found out a vest would soon be on the way.

“What went through your head when you found that out?” WSAZ.com asked.

“I was shocked,” Sergeant Davies said.

Josh has a very good reason for wanting to keep Smilla safe. She's with him 24-7. And for Josh, the dangers a K-9 officer faces are all too real.

“I was with him -- not on the scene -- the night Jeck got stabbed,” Sergeant Davies said.

Davies is talking about the Gallia County K-9 Officer, stabbed in the neck by a suspect two years ago. K-9 officers are often on the front lines.

“She gives us officer protection... And we can use her in situations where it would be too dangerous to send an officer in, we can send the dog in first,” Rio Grande Police Chief Daniel Day said.

Soon, Josh and Smilla will be able to rest a little more easily. The measurements have been taken. And Smilla's custom bulletproof vest will be on the way within a few weeks.

“I just want to make sure that she's safe while we're out chasing people and doing what we're supposed to do on the job,” Sergeant Davies said.

This vest is coming from a group called Vested Interest in K-9s. Groupon hosted an event on the charity's behalf back in March, asking people to donate ten dollars to the cause. The eight day drive raised more than 150 thousand dollars. That will outfit 150 K-9 officers with vests throughout the United States.

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