Myrtle Beach K-9 officers receive body armor equipment with help - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Myrtle Beach K-9 officers receive body armor equipment with help from a generous donation

New protective vests are helping keep Myrtle Beach police's K-9 units safe. (Source: WMBF News) New protective vests are helping keep Myrtle Beach police's K-9 units safe. (Source: WMBF News)
Protective vests for the K-9 unit are bullet proof and stab proof. (Source: WMBF News) Protective vests for the K-9 unit are bullet proof and stab proof. (Source: WMBF News)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Every officer is valuable when it comes to keeping the local community safe, including the four-legged officers that make up the Myrtle Beach Police Department's K-9 unit.

The officers now have some much-needed equipment that will protect them while in the line of duty.

They are bullet and stab protective vests, which weigh about 10 pounds each and have embroidered sentiments on them that say, "All the virtues of man without his vices," There is another vest that says, "And so you may live, my life is also yours." The last vest says, "Loyalty, honor, courage, strength."

The protective vests were made possible through a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9's, Inc. They are valued between $1,200 and $1,500.

It's equipment the K-9s' fellow officers are happy to see.

"They're an officer just like everyone else in this department," said Patrolman First Class Ofc. Michael Householder, a member of the MBPD's K-9 unit. "We look at them like another partner." 

Householder added that the dogs, known as Kelly, Alli, and Roscoe, are not just for Myrtle Beach; they assist neighboring cities and Horry County as well.

During dangerous situations the officers go in first before their handlers. Householder said, just like police officers, they need to be protected. 

"They help take narcotics off the streets," Householder said. "They are also tracking dogs, so if we have a robbery suspect, our dogs can track. They also help if maybe a senior citizen or a child that has wandered off."

Vested Interested in K9's assisted in receiving the funding for the vests and made arrangements for them to be custom-made for the dogs. 

The organization is located in East Taunton, Mass., and is dedicated to providing bullet- and stab-proof protective vests for law enforcement and other related agencies throughout the United States. 

Donations were also made locally by the Women's Club to provide training for the dogs. 

"We are so grateful for Vested Interest in K9's, The Women's Club and the anonymous donors because without all this great support from the community, we wouldn't have a K-9 unit, and we are very grateful for the protection to our dogs," said Householder. 

Each of the handlers in the K-9 unit feel more confident knowing their partners are safe while out on duty. 

"It gives us a peace of mind as we go out on the roads to know that they are safe and we have no worries," Householder said.

The department received the protective vests for the first week of July. Householder said the only concern officers have to think about is making sure the dogs don't get too hot while wearing them.

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