Some local law enforcement officers got new gear Thursday morning — and they were excited to show it off.
Several K-9 units were presented with new vests through Heroes with Hope. “American Nation Bank donated the vests,” said director Melissa Woolly. “We also had a fundraiser with Arrowhead Berry Farms to purchase the patches.”
American Nation Bank Vice President Cathy Alexander, Woolly and several officers were on hand to meet with the K-9s and their handlers. Woolly said one of the organization’s board members pointed out that many of the dogs are not easily identifiable when working or out in the community.
APD Capt. Keith Ingle said the vests not only help identify the dogs as police officers, but also helps the handlers. “The reflective patches help keep the K-9s safe at night and aid the handlers in lifting them over fences and other obstacles,” Ingle said.
“They have ballistics vests,” Woolly said. “Those vests are heavy and aren’t comfortable for the dogs to wear for long periods.” The new vests are much lighter weight and cover less of their bodies — much more suitable for working out in the summer heat.
The Ardmore police officers and handlers are Cody Garrett, Dylan Davis, and Jared Johnson
The vests help identify the dogs as working animals whether they are tracking, searching or just out in the community. “It’s for their safety, too,” Woolly said. “They’re an important part of the team.”