By Jeannie Nguyen Published: January 8, 2017, 9:50 pm Updated: January 9, 2017, 6:10 am
RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – Every officer needs protection, even the furry ones. That is why a group of Rio Rancho police wives are helping raise money for bulletproof vests for the dogs. “If the dog was to engage somebody, they’d be extremely vulnerable. They can’t protect themselves like we can so I think vests are very valuable,” said Sgt. Gabe Salgado of the Rio Rancho Police Department.
That is where Erin Rogers steps in. She and a group of police wives are working on planning events to help raise at least $4,000 to get these dogs bullet and stab-proof vests.
“The nation had 34 K-9 killed last year in the line of duty, so it brings it home for a lot of us and it means a lot for us in a community,” she said.
Rio Rancho Police Department currently has three K-9 officers and are in the process of getting another dog for the department. Each dog is provided by the National Police Dog Foundation, who also happens to be working with Rogers to help raise money for the vests.
“This is a K-9 storm ballistic vest, and these dogs can be put in them and also used as a harness. They can wear them, they’re light weight and perform their work,” said Evan Anderson of the National Police Dog Foundation.
Currently, none of the K-9 officers have any protection when they are on duty. Each vest starts at $700, something the department just can’t afford. Knowing the community wants to help buy these vests, is something Sgt. Salgado can’t help but be thankful for.
“It was really nice to hear that somebody else wanted to raise money for our dogs, we do form a bond with our dogs. That’s invaluable to us,” he said.
Once Rogers and her organization reach their goal for the Rio Rancho K-9 officers, they will also start working for other agencies throughout the state.
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