Three ballistic protective vests were donated to the Sarasota Police Department K-9 unit Tuesday.
The Sarasota Police Department now has ballistic protective vests for K-9 officers Coti, Bronson and Hixson.
The vests were donated through funds gifted to the Retired Law Enforcement Association of Southwest Florida through private donations. Residents Leslie Hall, Henry Schneiderman and Chuck Dillin who donated funds for the vests were present for the ceremony to meet the officers. Retired Law Enforcement Association of Southwest Florida President Ray Hubbard presented each of them with certificates in recognition of their gifts to the organization.
“Without people like these we couldn’t be successful,” Hubbard said.
Sergeant Michael McHale was on hand to explain the capabilities of the vests and that they would be used during calls that the handlers felt required the extra protection.
“Let’s pray to God that we never have to use these vests,” McHale said.
Making sure that his partner will be protected puts Officer Jake Nelson at ease. He helped demonstrate how to put on the bulletproof vest designed and tailored to fit his partner K-9 officer Bronson. Bronson and Nelson were paired in Nov. 2014 and graduated from training in April.
“It’s pretty awesome because he’s a great friend of mine and any kind of protection is great,” Nelson said.