OCALA, Fla. -- Four-legged officers in Marion County have new protective gear.
- Ocala PD K9s have new protective vests
- Vests donated by nonprofit
Tuesday was the first day Ocala Police K9s trained with new vests.
The bullet and stab protective vests were a donation from the nonprofit group Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
"We will put the vests on the dog when we run into a situation where we know there’s a possibility for danger," said Officer Gerard King.
King has been a K9 handler since 1998. Four-year-old Zorba-Naux is his fourth K9.
"I have a love of dogs, and I have a love of law enforcement," he said.
Zorba-Naut is one of three K9s with the Ocala Police Department that will use the vest.
"A lot of the calls that we do are unknown. Someone robs a store, they run away, we do a track. We don’t know if they’re still armed or if they were armed. Having these on while they're tracking will help us out. It will ease our mind a little bit," King said.
Each vest is custom fitted, and because of the Florida heat, they won't be on every day. But when they are, it will be an added layer of protection.
"They’re not just dogs, they’re our partners," he said.
Ocala Police K9s did have vests before, but we're told they were expired and outdated.