Eight Grand Rapids police K-9s to get body armor

Grand Rapids Police Department
An undated courtesy photo of the Grand Rapids Police Department's K-9 team. (Grand Rapids Police Department)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Eight K-9 officers with the Grand Rapids Police Department are getting an extra line of protection during violent encounters.

With the help of sponsors, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is donating bullet and stab protective vests to K-9s Kilo, Kip, Izzy, Aero, Bobby, Jack, Boris and Atos.

GRPD says Kilo’s vest will be embroidered with a tribute to Kalamazoo County native and Wayne State University Sgt. Collin Rose, who was shot and killed while on duty in November 2016. That vest is sponsored by Theodore Sippel of Manchester.

The remaining vests will carry messages memorializing K-9 Rocco of Pittsburgh and K-9 Ty of California, according to the police department.
Grand Rapids’ K-9s should get the vests within eight to ten weeks, the agency said.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided more than 2,400 sets of body armor for police K-9s nationwide, according to GRPD. Each vest is valued between $1,795 and $2,234.