GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport Police Department's K-9 unit received special treats Wednesday, but not the edible kind. The rambunctious four-legged officers now have new body armor to keep them safe before heading into dangerous situations.
"It's something we really appreciate," said Sgt. Wayne Payne with the Gulfport Police Department.
Connie Call spent the entire month of April raising the $4,500 needed to purchase the vests.
"I presented the Gulfport Police Department with four bulletproof K-9 vests. We raised the money through Pet Parent Paradise, GoFundMe, and Ronnie's Irish Pub helped us with a fundraiser as well," said Call.
With tails wagging, the K-9s and their handlers watched as Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania thanked Call for her donation with a plaque.
"With what's going on all over this country it's very important. I mean, you can look back in the past several months and see where several K-9s have been injured in the line of duty. Some have been killed in the line of duty," said Payne.
Sgt. Wayne Payne says that due to the heat, the dogs won't wear the vests unless they respond to a high risk incident. "Just to know that we have another tool to put on the dogs to maybe save their life. It's worth a shot," said Payne.
The department's four K-9s are used to patrol, find people, search for narcotics, and look for evidence in a crime.