Pasco K9 officer gets new panel for ballistics vest

Ballistic vest for Pasco K9

PASCO, Wash. - Wednesday is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. While officers got to chow down on some sweet treats, one K9 got a different kind of treat.

K9 Yucon with the Pasco Police Department is showing off his new ballistic vest. Panels were recently put inside the vest, thanks to a monetary donation from the Richland Kennel Club.

"It's rated for sub-sonic firearms essentially," said Officer Brad Leininger. "It's not stab-proof, but it does offer a level of resistance from firearms for the dog." 

The vest is similar to what officers wear. 

"You want them to have any extra protection that they can have," Leininger said. You're asking them to do something that's incredibly dangerous. We wear the vests, and you would want them to wear it as well."

The vest will only protect the K9 from certain bullets, but Leininger says technology has come a long way.

"It use to be that vests were too heavy. Handlers didn't want to put the vests on our dogs because they would tire out so quickly," Leininger explained. "And as a piece of gear, yes it would stop a bullet, but if it stops a dog, it's ineffective."

Currently, the department is in the process of training a new K9, bringing their total up to five. The new K9 will take a certification test on Thursday before the officer can hit the streets.

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