Massachusetts group donates protective vest to Titusville K9

Titusville Police Department canine Chase will soon be safer wearing a bullet and stab protective vest.


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Photo courtesy of Titusville Police Department

The safety of police canines is a priority for Titusville Police Department K9 Unit Supervisor Lt. T.J. Wright and the officers who serve with those hard-working dogs.

The team is pleased with the donation of a bullet and stab protective vest for canine Chase. It comes courtesy of a charitable donation from Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. in East Taunton, Massachusetts.

“Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the country,” according to the organization’s website.

Chase’s vest is sponsored by Lynda Gordon of the Michael Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education of Coconut Grove.

It will be embroidered with the sentiment, “in memory of Michael Gordon.”

“Titusville’s dual-purpose canines are certified for narcotics detection, as well as for patrol, handler protection, area search, building search, criminal apprehension and tracking,” Wright said. “They can also help find missing children or someone hiding in the woods. The vests help protect the dogs against injury.”

Canine Jack did not have a vest when he was stabbed while apprehending a suspect. Recovered from his injuries, Jack continues to serve. All Titusville canines now have protective vests.

Chase and the Titusville Police Department K9 team recently took home a first-place trophy at the inaugural Space Coast Police K9 Competition.

The event was hosted by the Cocoa Police Department. Nearly 30 law enforcement K9 teams from across Florida competed in multiple events.

K9 Officer Tyler Glenn and Chase topped the field of competitors by winning the “hardest hitting” event. Other participating members of the Titusville Police Department’s K9 Team were Officer John Cantalupo with K9 Jack, Officer Jason Sanchez with Scooby and Officer Jesse Lengefeld with Draco.

“These officers spend hundreds of hours a year training with their canines to perfect these skills and the hard work is evident,” Wright said.

For information about Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc., go to vik9s.org.

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