Falco, a Belgian Malinois who joined the department in June, will wear a protective vest when he is on duty.
Photo: Sandy Springs Police
Photo: Sandy Springs Police

Donation gives North Fulton K-9 bullet-proof body armor

A K-9 officer in Sandy Springs will get some new digs, thanks to a charitable donation.

Falco, a Belgian Malinois who joined the department in June, will wear a protective vest when he is on duty, beginning in a few weeks. The vest is bullet-proof and is also designed to protect against knives.

A non-profit organization called Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. located in East Taunton, Massachusetts, is donating the vest. It is the organization’s goal to provide these vests and assist dogs of law enforcement throughout the United States. It was established in 2009.

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Falco’s vest is sponsored by a fundraiser hosted by Christy and Trish of Derby Sportsbar in Buford. Falco’s vest will be embroidered with “Born to Love—Trained to Serve—Loyal Always.”

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K-9 is $950. Each vest has a value between $1,744 and $2,283. It comes with a five-year warranty, and weighs about 4.5 pounds.

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Since its inception, Vested Interest has provided more than 2,700 vests to K-9 officers across the United States. The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

Falco will receive his vest in eight to 10 weeks.

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