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Donated body armor to protect Burrillville police dog

WJAR Providence logo WJAR Providence 6/8/2021 JESSICA A. BOTELHO
a dog sitting in the front seat of a car © Provided by WJAR Providence

K-9 Officer Rex will have an extra bit of protection when he's fighting crime for the Burrillville Police Department.

The department announced Tuesday morning that K-9 Rex has has received a bullet and stab protective vest due to a charitable donation from Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc., a non-profit organization.

"K-9 Rex’s vest was sponsored by 2020 Fallen K9 Hero fundraiser hosted by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and embroidered with the sentiment, 'In memory of the K9s who served and sacrificed in 2020,'" according to the department's Facebook page.

"K-9 Rex’s vest was sponsored by 2020 Fallen K9 Hero fundraiser hosted by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and embroidered with the sentiment, 'In memory of the K9s who served and sacrificed in 2020,'" according to the department's Facebook page.

NBC 10 News met K-9 Officer Rex and his handler, K-9 Officer Bret Simas, in March when the police dog was celebrating one full year of service.

The 2-year-old German shepherd is from the Czech Republic, with Simas noting that Rex came to Rhode Island as an energetic 11-month-old puppy that was ready to learn right from the start.

K-9 Rex then completed six months of training before he was sworn in. He first underwent patrol school before beginning drug training.

“He’s dual purpose, so he’s patrol and narcotics,” Simas said. “Under the patrol category is tracking suspects and missing people, including children.”

Plus, K-9 Rex specializes in building and area searches, often finding suspects hiding in closets or the woods.

He also conducts evidence and article searches, recovering weapons and other items.

Police also noted that Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc. has provided more than 4,301 vests to K-9s across the nation at a value of $6.9 million. The vests, police said, are all made possible by private and corporate donations.

The program is open to United States dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. Learn more at vik9s.org or mail a contribution to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, Massachusetts 02718.

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