DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Many police officers have bullet proof vests. Now, some of their K-9 partners are getting protection too, all because of a generous donation.READ MORE: Justice Department Sues Texas Over New Redistricting Maps
Dallas Police have 13 four-legged officers and they will now all have access to bullet and stab proof canine vests during potentially dangerous situations.
After seeing a news story about a canine officer killed on duty, Texas native-turned-New Mexico resident Susie Jean asked local police if they had the $2000 vests for their dogs.
When they said no–she raised the money herself.
“The dogs don’t know they’re going into danger,” said Jean, the founder of Vest N Police Dog Protection. “They do what their officer says. They’re so loyal, so why not protect them? The majority of the time, while wearing these vests, they’re going to be protected and saved.”
Now eleven years after founding the non-profit, Jean has helped outfit 734 police dogs in 43 states.
“To know officers have peace of mind, letting their dog go in bad situation, knowing they’re dog’s probably going to come out okay–that is rewarding to me.”
In a ceremony today at Fair Park in Dallas, Jean presented the Dallas Police Department with six vests, Mckinney P.D. with three, and one vest to Halliday P.D.READ MORE: Mesquite Police Identify Suspect Jamie Jaramillo In Fatal Shooting Of Officer Richard Lee Houston II
“He is part of the family,” explained DPD Senior Corporal, Barrick Culp, about his canine partner, Argo. “I don’t consider him a partner. I consider him part of the family.”
Culp says he believes Argo’s work is priceless, so protecting him simply makes sense.
“Me, Argo and other officers can search a building faster and more safely than 10 officers probably could. His nose is so incredible that I can give him a command, and we can track a suspect through the woods. He locates the bad guy, and we get him in custody.”
K-9 police vests range from $1600- $2000 dollars each.
Susie Jean says she gets them for half that price.
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