Lansing Police Department’s K9 Officer Rico to receive donation of body armor

information provided by the Lansing Police Department

LANSING, Ill. (February 19, 2019) – The nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. will donate a bullet and stab protective vest to Lansing Police Department’s K9 Officer Rico. The vest is sponsored by Officer Collin Rose Memorial Foundation and will be embroidered with the sentiment “In honor of Axe EOW 11/04/18 & Collin Rose EOW 11/23/16.” Delivery is expected within 8–10 weeks.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton, MA, whose mission is to provide protective gear and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided $5.7 million dollars’ worth of gear—3,300 protective vests in 50 states through private and corporate donations.

The program is open to certified dogs who are at least 20 months of age and actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950.00. Each vest weighs 4–5 lbs. and has a value of $1,744–$2,283 and a five-year warranty.

Officer Keith Haan (standing) is LPD’s K9 officer. Officer Rico is a mult-purpose police dog whose skills include sniffing out drugs and apprehending fleeing suspects. He is a Belgian Malinois, a breed known for its intelligence, hard work, and loyalty to its owner. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Officer Keith Haan (approaching) demonstrates to Lansing residents how K9 Rico has been trained to bite and hang on to his suspect until a human officer arrives to place the suspect in custody. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

An estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s serve throughout the United States. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 508-824-6978.

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