Sarasota Police K-9 Unit To Receive Protective Ballistic Vests at No Cost

SARASOTA, Fla. – July 27, 2015 – 8 a.m.

**Media Availability: Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. at the west lawn of the Sarasota Police Department. In case of rain, the event will be held in the 2nd Floor Community Room. The vests will be presented to the Sarasota Police K9 Unit from the Retired Law Enforcement Association of Southwest Florida and Significant Sponsors**

On Tuesday, the Sarasota Police Department K-9 Unit will be presented with three custom fit ballistic vests for each K-9, Coti, Hixon and Bronson. This comes at no cost to the Sarasota Police Department and has been made possible through a donation from the Retired Law Enforcement Association of Southwest Florida.

The Retired Law Enforcement Association of Southwest Florida began the law enforcement K-9 vest program in 2009. Through funds raised during fundraisers and contributions, they’ve been able to equip 15 law enforcement agencies and 43 Police K-9 dogs with custom fitted vests.

"We believe the development and safety of police canines is essential to the law enforcement profession," said Ray Hubbert, President, Retired Law Enforcement Association of Southwest Florida. "The K-9 does exactly what they were trained to do and shows no fear completing the assignment. We believe these K-9 officers should be protected."

"The Sarasota Police Department is honored to receive such a life-saving tool for our four-legged Officers," said Sergeant Michael McHale, Sarasota Police Department K-9 Unit Leader. "Our K-9 teams provide services such as narcotics detection, violent suspect apprehension and they track suspects. These vests will help to protect them in times of danger."