Corning Police Department’s canine officer, Blaze, is set to receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
Blaze’s vest will be embroidered with the sentiment, “In memory of Officer David Underwood, DHS-EOW 5/29/20”. Delivery is expected within 10 weeks.
Blaze, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, joined the department in January and has been very busy keeping the streets of Corning safe along with his partner, Officer Chase Corry.
“I am excited for Blaze to receive the vest,” Corry said.
Blaze came to the department from the Netherlands at a cost of $12,000. For several months Blaze and Corry underwent rigorous and challenging police canine training in Sacramento. The training came at a cost of $6,000, and will continue on a regular basis throughout the life of the partnership.
“Blaze is a multi-purpose canine trained in protection, apprehension, patrol, and narcotics detection,” said Corning Police Chief Jeremiah Fears.
Corry said his canine partner has already made a name for himself through the apprehension of suspects, drug detection and simply his presence on the street.
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. This potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K9 officers is U.S. made, custom fitted, and NIJ certified. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 3,917 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, actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, while a single donation of $960 will sponsor one vest. Each vest has a value of $1,744-$2,283, weighs an average of 4-5 lb., and comes with a five-year warranty. For more information, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts donations at www.vik9s.org, or you may mail your contribution to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, Mass., 02718.