Chattanooga police dogs get bulletproof vests

Inspired by the shooting death of a Walker County, Ga., sheriff’s department dog, a charity known as inVEST in K9 is providing funding for protection of police dogs with bulletproof vests and all 10 Chattanooga dogs are now covered, reports the Times-Free Press. Robin Scott is founder of the group.

On Tuesday she gave a $985 vest to Yubee, a police dog still in training, so the dog would have the vest before it encounters danger. At least five more vests will be available for incoming police dogs.

Scott, who was raised by a police officer, has spearheaded efforts to provide bullet/knife-resistant vests for police dogs since 2013. She hopes to provide all law enforcement dogs in the state with vests.

She partnered with the Regional Institute for Veterinary Emergencies & Referrals (RIVER) clinic on Amnicola Highway to get the vests.

…Chattanooga Police Master Patrolman Sean O’Brien said he is grateful for the public’s support for K-9 cops.

“I am humbled by the people willing to put the time and effort to provide us with these vests,” said O’Brien, who is working with Yubee, a Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherd mix.

He said the police department has no budget for K-9 bulletproof vests after paying the thousands of dollars it costs to train the dogs. Training takes about 10 to 12 weeks to train a dog for a single purpose and about twice as long for a dual purpose, O’Brien said.

Of the 10 Chattanooga Police Department K-9s four are trained as dual-purpose dogs. Three are single-purpose bomb dogs and three are single-purpose drug dogs, he said.