|Pittsfield Officer Jango Receives Protective Vest|
|12:03PM / Thursday, June 28, 2018|
|Jango, a 2-year-old German shepherd, poses in his new police vest. |
Jango looking pretty sweet.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Police Department's K9 Jango has received his bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s Inc.
The vest was sponsored through funds raised at HeatherFest, an annual blues festival hosted by Heather McKibben in Norton. The nearly 25-year festival supports a number of charities, including Vested Interest in K9s. The vest is embroidered with the sentiment "Donated by HeatherFest in memory of Bill McKibben," McKibben's father who died last year.
Jango is a 2-year-old German shepherd who joined the Police Department in September 2017. He completed patrol and narcotic detection schools, and is currently working with his handler, Officer Nicholas Sondrini, on day shift.
Vested Interest in K9s Inc. is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton whose mission is to provide protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies in obtaining this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest has provided more than 3,000 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $5.7 million.
The program is open to dogs actively employed with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950. Each vest has a value between $1,744 and $2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 pounds. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. To find out more about Vested Interest or make a donation: 508-824-6978, www.vik9s.org or P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.