Rifle Police K9 gets a protective vest
The Rifle Police Department’s K9, Tulo, a 61/2-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, has received a ballistic vest that will help protect him during his duties as a drug scent-detection dog.
The vest was provided thanks to a nationwide Groupon event that has raised more than $335,000 to provide bullet- and stab-protective vests through Vested Interest in K9s Inc., a nationwide nonprofit organization that provides the vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the country. Each vest costs $950 and has a five-year warranty.
The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four legged K9 officers. Through private and corporate sponsorships, Vested Interest in K9s Inc. has provided protective vests for more than 1,280 law enforcement dogs in 40 states since 2009 at a cost of more than $1.2 million.
Tulo, along with his owner and partner, Officer Garrett Duncan, has been working with the Rifle Police Department since 2010 and is certified with the National Police Canine Association. He also assists with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and TRIDENT (Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team) when necessary.
Tulo’s job is to detect the scent of narcotics and relay the information to Duncan, who then searches for the drugs.
Vested Interest in K9s Inc. provides more than 350 law enforcement dogs with the protective body armor in memory of K9 “Rocco,” of the Pittsburgh Police Department, who sacrificed his life in the line of duty in January 2014. In 2013, Vested Interest in K9s partnered with Groupon and was named as one of “The Best of 2013” campaigns. In just one week the nonprofit raised $155,537.33 which provided ballistic vests for 163 law enforcement dogs in 30 states. There are an estimated 30,000 police dogs throughout the United States.
Tax deductible donations may be made to Vested Interest in K9s at the website http://www.vik9s.org.
Tulo will be recognized at the next regular Rifle City Council meeting on March 4.
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