Hermantown Police Department’s Tuuko receives body armor

Hermantown Police Department’s Tuuko receives body armor

The Hermantown Police Department’s K9 Tuuko will receive a bullet- and stab-protective vest thanks to a donation from Vested Interest in K9s Inc., which was sponsored by Hilary Quinn of Colchester, Vt. Tuuko’s vest will be embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.”

The Vested Interest in K9s was established in 2009 to help law enforcement agencies obtain potentially lifesaving body armor for their K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s has provided more than 1,600 protective vests in 49 states through private and corporate donations at a cost of over $1.5 million. All vests are custom-made in the U.S. by Armor Express in Central Lake, Mich.

The program is open to certified dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies that are at least 19 months of age. New K9 graduates as well as K9s with expired vests are eligible to participate. Tuuko has been with the Hermantown police department since March and attended the St. Paul Police K-9 Academy with Griffen Pfeiffer. The team is certified in patrol work and tracking.

In addition to these certifications, the team is pursuing certification in narcotic detection. “Having an organization like this donate these vests for police working dogs is just awesome; these dogs put their lives on the line daily to protect their handlers, other officers and the public … the least we can do is give them some protection” Hermantown Police Chief Jim Crace said.

Submitted by Jim Crace of the Hermantown Police Department.

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