K-9 officer Durman wearing custom-fitted body armor thanks to Minnesota woman's donation
Becker County Sheriff's Office K-9 Durman received custom fitted body armor from Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vest was sponsored by Ashley Fletcher, of Hawley weighs 4 to 5 pounds and will
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — Custom-fitted body armor arrived for Durman, the Becker County Sheriff's Office trained dog, thanks to a donation from a Hawley, Minn., resident.
The vest, produced by Vested Interest in K9s Inc., a nonprofit group, will protect the dog from bullet, or stab, wounds.
While the armor ranges from $1,744 to $2,283 to purchase, the nonprofit allows individuals to make single donations of $960 to sponsor one vest. Ashley Fletcher of Hawley sponsored Durman's vest, which also includes an embroidered "Gifted by Ashley Fletcher" on the tactical gear.
Throughout the country, Vested Interest in K9s Inc. has produced more than 4,200 vests for police dogs thanks to a mix of private, and corporate, donations totaling $6.9 million, according to a Becker County Sheriff's Office Facebook post. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement dogs operating in the United States.
The sheriff's office received approval from the Becker County Board of Commissioners to begin receiving donations to possibly field a second dog, known as a K-9 Unit. Handlers and dogs undergo a 12-week training program and are used on missing persons searches, suspect apprehension and narcotics searches.
The training program is open to dogs who are at least 20 months old and are employed and certified by a law enforcement agency.