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Two K-9 officers receive safety vests from local organization

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NICOMA PARK, Okla. - Two Oklahoma K-9 officers received special gifts Friday - safety vests.

They were donations from the Heartland Rescue Canine Foundation.

Supporters Becky and Barry Switzer passed the vests off to the dogs and their handlers.

"These vests are designed for dogs that go into combat," said Barry Switzer.

The vests were created to help keep the animals out of harms way in dangerous situations.

"To lose those is costly, not only in our search for narcotics or other explosives or anything, that's downtime, but it's also emotional for their partner," said Becky Switzer.

At the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial, K-9s Lex and Blecky were given these vests.

"On duty, he's extremely serious, off duty, he's my buddy," said Lex's partner, Nicoma Park Police Officer Doyle Baker.

"He's there to take a bullet for me, if need be. It's a bond that can't be explained," said Blecky's partner, Corporal Jon Williams with the Harrah Police Department.

Corporal Jon Williams said not all K-9s have a bullet proof vest because they are so expensive.

"The agencies that are able to have a K-9 program, a lot of it goes overlooked because of budget cuts," said Corporal Williams.

With the help of the Heartland Rescue Canine Foundation, dogs like Lex and Blecky, that most of the time are the first to make contact with criminals in the field, will be protected.

"Dogs' lives matter too, all lives matter," said Barry Switzer.

Since Oklahoma has many natural disasters, the Switzers hope to build a training center in the metro for K-9s, hoping to make search and rescue dogs readily available for the Sooner State.

 

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