Southern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Transit Police Department’s K9 Swen received a bullet and stab protective vest from Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., established in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) charity whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The potentially lifesaving body armor for K9 officers is U.S. made, custom fitted, and National Institute of Justice certified. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided more than 5,289 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.
The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. K9s with expired vests are also eligible to participate. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.
Each vest has a value of $1,800, weighs an average of four to five pounds and comes with a five-year warranty.
The SEPTA Transit Police Department currently has 13 K9 teams that provide a combination of patrol and bomb detection services.