ATLANTA — The Georgia Police K9 Foundation, which has vested 88 Georgia Law Enforcement K9s, has announced that K9 Cuff, K9 Titan, K9 Taz, K9 Bo and K9 Judge, all with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources throughout the state of Georgia, are the latest five K9s to receive a LOF Streetfighter Vest.
What is unique about these K9 protective vests is they have a soft body armor specifically constructed to be lightweight, officials with DNR said. This helps protect the K9s from becoming exhausted from heavier vests, which may cause overheating. In Georgia, heat indexes can reach more than 100 degrees in a matter of minutes. Keeping a K9s body temperature down is crucial while they are working to avoid heat exhaustion or even a heat stroke.
The fabric in the LOF Streetfighter vest helps regulate the K9’s body temperature, keeping them comfortable and cool. The vests are meant to be worn for entire shifts so that four-legged officers are protected at all times. K9 Officers unconditionally run into dangerous situations, regardless of whether or not a suspect could be armed with a lethal weapon. These vests are bullet resistant and shield the K9’s vital organs during any apprehension that may involve tracking and even detaining a fleeing suspect before an officer can take full control.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources K9 Cuff, a 22-month-old Belgium Malinois; K9 Titan, a 7-year-old German Shepherd; K9 Taz, a 3-year-old German Shepherd; K9 Bo, a 21-months-old German Shepherd; and K9 Judge, a 2-year-old German Shepherd, serve and protect the citizens of Georgia for the mere payment of a reward toy and praise from their handler. All of these K9s absolutely love family time and meeting the wonderful people in Georgia; however, these Law Enforcement K9s’ all-time favorite activities involve playing the game at work. Whether it is tracking, patrol, officer protection, evidence recovery, or wildlife detection, the four-legged officers love doing their job.
Georgia Police K9 Foundation (GPK9F) is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which helps raise awareness within the state and local communities of the contributions made by the police K9s and how they save lives to make our communities safer. The agency’s goal is to protect as many of Georgia’s four-legged officers as possible by providing them with safety equipment, such as, bullet-proof vests, heat alarm systems, and Naloxone (narcan kits) in the event a K9 is directly exposed to any opioids during a search and seizure. Once a K9 has retired, the handler will adopt their K9 partner. In the absence of state or local retirement benefits for the K9s, GPK9F will help provide retirement support (food and medical care) for the retired law enforcement K9s that have unconditionally served their communities for years.
To date, the Georgia Police K9 Foundation has provided 88 K9 protection vests, 29 heat alarms, 30+ narcan kits, 15 first aid kits, 10+ retirement plaques. More than 20 retired K9s have been assisted, and more than 100 training equipment, seminars, and trainings were supplied to numerous K9 teams across the state of Georgia.
Chances are that everyone’s life has been impacted by a K9 in some manner and they do not even realize it. Before attending sporting events, concerts, or large functions, explosive detection K9s sweep the areas to ensure a safer environment for those in attendance. K9s serve communities by locating/detecting illegal narcotics, as well as engaging in the most dangerous settings, while dealing with some of the most violent offenders without hesitation. These four-legged heroes are asked to face situations most people would not. Not only do law enforcement K9s assist with the enforcement of laws, they also assist with locating a missing child or elderly person.
As a foundation, GPK9F wants to thank each sponsor, donor and supporter of its mission. There are multiple avenues in joining that mission. Those interested can make a tax-deductible donation. Contact is available through the GPK9F.org website. Checks can be mailed to Georgia Police K9 Foundation, 28 E. Main St., Statesboro, Ga. 30458. The public is welcome to follow Georgia Police K9 Foundation on Facebook and Instagram, too.
Three of the five vests donated to DNR K9 officers were made possible by the K9 Blue Protective Equipment Fund raised in honor of K9 Blue with the Gwinnett County Police Department, who recently passed away in the line of duty.