The Cleveland Police Department now has protective vests for its entire K-9 Unit. They are special dogs, with special skill-sets and now thanks to a generous donation, the newest team member has that extra measure of protection.
"We want to do whatever is possible and needed to protect our dogs," Sergeant Evie West with the Cleveland Police Department says. "They are very special. They're officers just like we are."
Their newest canine, Alana, will be protected thanks to a generous donation from the Chattanooga Kennel Club. She was introduced about six months ago on the Cleveland Police Department Facebook page. and as before with Max, Aries, and Torque, without prompting, people asked if they could help.
"People start coming from all over the place and gave donations to the city of Cleveland, so that we would be able to purchase these vests that they need for our canines," says Sgt. West.
The bullet-proof vests are not cheap.
"What we're looking to purchase is a level III protective vest, which is stab-proof as well, which would be really instrumental in her safety," Sgt. West says. "So, those are right around $1,500."
After first giving $500, the kennel club decided to cover the whole tab.
Sgt. West says the department has a budget for the dogs, but they're tremendously thankful for the community's generosity.
"But, when someone steps up and says, 'hey, we will go ahead and purchase the vest,' that allows for more money in our account to be able to do other things with the dogs whether it's training or whatever it is that they need," says Sgt. West.
Now, Alana can suit-up for work, just like her teammates.
"We love them. They're a part of our family. They're great tools; great asset to our department," Sgt. West says. "We really wouldn't be able to really combat crime in a way that, like especially drugs, that we can with them. They're fantastic."
One Cleveland dog works explosives. Two are trained in apprehension and narcotics. Alana is a single purpose narcotics dog stationed with the Cleveland Housing Authority, but also available to work with officers on the streets.
Friday, October 20 2017 7:23 PM EDT2017-10-20 23:23:33 GMT
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