Meet Sable, the K9 who protects the Tri-Cities and needs community support

Push to protect Tri-Cities K9 Officer after the deadly incident in Seattle

 

KENNEWICK, Wash. — For many sheriff and police departments, K9 ballistic vests starting at $2,600 are not always in the budget. With recent upticks in assaults on law enforcement, including K9 officers, life-saving equipment is critical. 

Deputy David Frederick with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office has been on a mission to protect his four-legged partner K9 Sable. He is asking for help from the Tri-Cities community and the nonprofit, Keeping K9s in Kevlar, to help raise funds for a custom-made ballistics K9 vest. The vest is designed to protect K9 Sable’s vital organs against stabbing, shrapnel, and bullets. Deputy Frederick said that because of the advancement in new technology the ballistic vests created are around three pounds and can be worn throughout every shift.

“Sable and I are at the front of a lot of major incidents that take place with violent people, and having the ability to keep him safe if he is needed to go into those situations; I looked at that and said that’s something that we need to do,” said Deputy David Frederick, K9 Sable’s Handler with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. 

Deputy Frederick said he reached out to Keeping K9s in Kevlar, a nonprofit that helps law enforcement agencies across the country fundraise for life-saving gear and connect handlers with equipment distributors, before the recent tragedy in Seattle. On January 5, 2022, Seattle K9 Officer Jedi was stabbed and killed in the line of duty by a man wielding a machete and knife.

“We never truly know what we are going to or getting into. We do our best to find out everything we can before we get there, but situations are developing. We never know, and this will be a piece of equipment that God-forbid something bad happens it could help potentially save his life,” said Deputy Frederick. 

RELATED: Benton County rallies to protect K9 Sable after Seattle police dog was stabbed

K9 Puppy StoryDeputy Frederick has been training with K9 Sable as his partner since Sable was 18-months-old. In March 2022, K9 Sable will turn four-years-old, and in that short time, he’s accomplished a lot. “Even with 400 hours for basic certification for Washington State, it takes a lot more than 400 hours to have the dog street-ready,” said Deputy Frederick. 

“Having dogs sometimes allows us to have a peaceful resolution without physical force, and that is one of the biggest reasons we want to use K9s in 21st Century policing.” -Deputy David Frederick, K9 Handler with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. 

 

Sable is a Patrol K9 trained in apprehension, tracking, trailing, and article searching and has been on the Tri-Cities SWAT Team for more than a year.

“We utilize dogs because of their heightened sense of smell, their hearing, and then their sight. Dogs’ noses are 10,000 times more powerful in their olfactory senses than humans,” Deputy Frederick said. 

A K9 Officers’ bark is sometimes better than their bite as they help de-escalate situations peacefully. “People don’t care when officers are there, and the guns are pointed at them, and human officers are giving them commands to do things. A lot of times, when the K9s show up, and they start barking, and they know the dogs are there, they’re more willing to comply,” said Deputy Frederick 

When K9 Sable isn’t tracking down suspects, de-escalating situations, working with SWAT, protecting officers and the community, or working to rescue people lost in the wilderness, he is a fun-loving Belgian Malinois/German Shepard. Frederick said every morning; Sable starts his shift with Puppuccinos. 

K9 Sable

K9 Sable

“He loves attention from people. He’s fun to be around, has a lot of energy, likes to play at home but knows when he comes to work and sees his gear coming out, he’s ready to work,” Deputy Frederick said. 

“I like to say he has a great on-and-off switch,” said Deputy Frederick, “especially if we apprehend someone; after that encounter, Sable takes a couple of seconds to take a breath and relax as the rest of us would. Then he’s back to being the lovable dog that you can go up to and pet, and he loves the attention.”

Deputy Frederick has been working in law enforcement for 16 years, and before that, served with the 82nd Airborne Long-Range Reconnaissance Detachment in the Army. He said this is his second K9, and the bond he creates with his four-legged partner is life-changing and vital to law enforcement agencies. 

Deputy Frederick is asking for the community’s help in fundraising for the ballistics vest to make sure he can keep his partner safe and that his heart, lungs, and vital organs are protected when responding to dangerous situations. The Benton County Sheriff’s office said, they have already received tremendous support this week, but they still need help. 

HOW TO DONATE:

According to the Benton County Sheriff Foundation, “K-9 Sable will receive 100% of donations to fund the K9 Storm Kevlar vest. If donations exceed that total when the campaign ends, funds will roll over to other K9 needs or projects to help Benton County Sheriff’s Office K9s. All donations are tax-deductible.”

“K9 Sable is a young dog, and he is going to be around for a while. We want to make sure that when he goes out on SWAT calls, patrol calls, or any call he has the extra protection that he needs. He’s a great asset to our department, and we want to make sure he is safe,” -Lt. Jason Erickson, Benton County Sheriff’s Office. 

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