NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Local police K-9 officers have been given a major boost in the form of custom fitted ballistics vests today.
More than 40 local police dogs received the ballistic vests, thanks to the Spike’s K9 fund.
The vests were made possible from donations to Spike’s from numerous people, including CNN’s Anderson Cooper, following the death of K-9 Krijger on Jan. 11.
“If there is a violent suspect or a violent person out there, we can take them into that situation and know that they will be protected,” said Officer Brian Ingram. “That peace of mind is everything.”
“They keep bullets, for example Kriger, those bullets could have gone into someone’s father, husband, uncle, brother, son,” said Jimmy Hatch, the founder of Spike’s K9 Fund. “Instead, they went into Krijger. I wish he would have had a ballistic vest.”
According to Spike’s K9 Fund, representatives from the Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, and Chesapeake Police Departments attended today’s event.
Hatch hopes to be able to outfit the rest of the K-9’s in Hampton Roads by the end of the year. His former K-9, Spike, died while protecting him overseas. Now, he wants to make sure officers do not have to endure the pain he felt after the loss.
“Watching one of the Portsmouth officers walk out of here with his dog and the way he looked at his dog. That’s his family and he has his vest on and it makes me feel really good,” said Hatch.
So far, the organization has raised about $90,000, according to Hatch.
Hatch says CNN’s Anderson Cooper has chosen them to receive the winnings from a game show appearance in May. The news anchor previously donated his speaking fee from The Norfolk Forum in January.