The Exeter Police Department's K9 unit is now better protected. Each of its three dogs recently received bulletproof vests. An online fundraiser covered the cost of the equipment which carries a total price tag of about $3,000.
Sergeant Brett Inglehart teams up with his dog Abel each day. Abel is a 4-year old Belgian Malinois.
“He's trained in French commands. He's used in narcotics detection and patrol, so he's dual purpose,” said Sgt. Brett Inglehart of the Exeter Police Dept.
Abel is riding out to the field to get some exercise, but something is different. He's going to wear a new bulletproof vest. It's a pricey piece of protective equipment.
“They are about a thousand dollars a piece,” said Sgt. Inglehart.
Abel and the two other dogs in Exeter's department received vests as well. It was thanks to a non-profit organization out of Massachussetts called Vested Interest in K9s, which teamed up with Groupon.
“I honestly didn't know much about Groupon except that people say it's a good place to get coupons for things,” said Sgt. Inglehart.
Between February and March, Groupon held a nationwide event asking the public to donate $10. In the end, $335,000 was raised to buy ballistic vests for K9s all across the country.
“We are a smaller department, so something like this is very valuable to us that we probably would have never gotten ourselves,” said Sgt. Inglehart.
Since 2009, the non-profit group has provided 1,074 vests to law enforcement dogs in 39 states.