Oakland K-9 units to receive bulletproof vests

December 3, 2010 1:25:30 PM PST
Like their human counterparts, some K-9 officers will be able to don bulletproof vests following a ceremony scheduled for this afternoon in Oakland.

The set of vests will be given to Oakland police K-9 officers Baker, Cuda, Toro and Kaiser along with other K-9 units from Bay Area law enforcement agencies.

The vests were paid for using $90,000 raised during the Cover Your K-9 Fundraiser with Pet Food Express, said Louise Tully, vice president of the nonprofit Police and Working K-9 Foundation.

Though they fell short of their $100,000 goal, the funds gathered from donations from the public and Pet Food Express were enough to move forward with the project.

"The response from the public has just been incredible," Tully said.

Local K-9 handlers worked with manufacturer K-9 Tactical Gear to design vests custom-made for each dog.

In addition to the bulletproof vests being handed out, the Police and Working K-9 Foundation will give out an award for the K-9 Team of the Year and provide letters of commendation for K-9 handlers who have demonstrated excellence: Officer Ron Aiello with K-9 Rex from Suisun City police, Deputy John White and retired K-9 Riso from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, and Officer Al Liwanag and K-9 Baker from Oakland police.

The ceremony will take place at 3:30 p.m. at Pet Food Express, located at 500 85th Ave. in Oakland.