TOPSHAM POLICE OFFICER LUCAS SHIRLAND and K-9 Jobe have an important new tool now that Jobe has received a donated bullet- and stab-protective vest.

TOPSHAM POLICE OFFICER LUCAS SHIRLAND and K-9 Jobe have an important new tool now that Jobe has received a donated bullet- and stab-protective vest.

TOPSHAM

One of the newest members of the Topsham Police Department has received body armor to protect him while on patrol.

Topsham police announced last week that Jobe, a police dog, has received a bullet- and stab-protective vest, thanks to a charitable donation from nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s. The vest was sponsored by a HeatherFest fundraiser in 2016 hosted by Heather McKibben of Norton, Massachusetts, and embroidered with the message: “Donated by HeatherFest in memory of Gertie O.”

Jobe and his handler, officer Lucas Shirland, are the department’s new K-9 team. Sgt. Robert Ramsay previously served many years as the department’s K-9 officer, most recently with K-9 Marco, before handing the torch to Shirland.

“The Topsham Police Department is honored to have been selected to receive a lifesaving vest for our K-9 Jobe,” a police department release states. “Officer Shirland and his partner Jobe have recently completed the final phase of certification training required for patrol as well as narcotic investigations. This team will enhance the department’s ability to provide professional law enforcement services for a variety of situations.”

The vest also allows Shirland to lift Jobe over obstacles such as fences more efficiently, reducing the possibility of injury.

Vested Interest in K9s is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton, Massachusetts. The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K-9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s has provided more than 2,600 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of more than $2.1 million.

The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K-9 graduates, as well as K- 9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

The organization donated $950 toward the K-9 vest. Each vest has a value ranging from $1,744 to $2,283 and comes with a five-year warranty. The vests weigh between 4 and 5 pounds.

According to a press release about the gift, there are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K-9s throughout the U.S. Vested Interest in K9s provides information and accepts tax-deductible donations at vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.

Vested in protection

VESTED INTEREST IN K9S is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton, Massachusetts. The nonprofit was established in 2009. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s has provided more than 2,600 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of more than $2.1 million.


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