VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — K-9 officers in Virginia Beach have officially received new protective ballistic vests.
Locally based Spike’s K-9 Fund has been raising money for its mission to protect dogs in the line of duty.
The vests have been donated by Spike’s to police forces across Hampton Roads, thanks in large part to a donation from CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
The cause got more attention this year after a man shot and killed Norfolk Police K-9 Krijger in January.
According to Virginia Beach Master Police Officer, William Ahern, all departments in Hampton Roads work together. He says the death of Krijger hits close to home.
However, there is a silver lining to this story.
“The dog that died in Norfolk, that K-9 handler’s parents actually made the donation for the vest that my dog is wearing now,” said Officer Ahern.
Ahern’s partner, Bear, is wearing the custom-made bullet proof shield that will protect him so he doesn’t face the same fate as beloved Krijger.
“We are asking them to put themselves between us and that person,” said Ahern. “We are asking these dogs to put their lives on the line for everyone in the community not just the police officers so when they have the vests we are more confident.”
The second vest was donated by the Military Store Double Tap Surplus through Spike’s K-9 Fund.
The Department is still looking for donations because there are eleven dogs in the department who still need their custom suits.
More than 40 police K-9s received ballistic vests in an event on April 22.
Officers in Virginia Beach were given theirs in a presentation at the department’s Special Operations building Thursday morning.