Note to Editors – photos of Katy, Sulek and their Handlers are
available upon request
Warwick, RI – May 22, 2020 – The Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) has
been notified that Rhode Island Airport Police Department’s K9s Sulek and Katy will
receive bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a charitable donation from
non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Sulek’s vest will be embroidered with
the sentiment “In memory of K9 Jethro, Canton, OH Police
Department”. K9 Katy’s vest will be embroidered with the sentiment “In memory
of K9 Gabo, Jonesboro, AR EOW 1/16/20”. Delivery is expected within eight to
in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is
to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law
enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit
was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this
potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers.
K9 Katy is a
two-year old female German shepherd/ Belgian Malinois assigned to Officer
Thomas Marcello of the RI Airport Police Department. Katy and Officer Marcello were certified in
Explosive Detection after completing a lengthy training course at the Canine
Training Center, JBSA-Lackland Air Force Base.
Katy is always eager to work and loves to play tug with her Kong as a
reward when she completes her training missions. She has an excellent nose and
tremendous drive. In her off time she enjoys the outdoors, running and chasing
tennis balls. Katy has adjusted well to her new home and work environment.
K9 Sulek is a 2.5
year old male German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois certified in Explosive Detection
and is assigned to Officer Carlos Jerez of the RI Airport Police Department. Officer Jerez and K9 Sulek completed their training
as a K9 Team in 2019 and were certified by the National Explosive Detection
Canine Team Program. Sulek looks forward to every day of work and is always
eager to enjoy his “Kong” time. When not working he enjoys running in the
backyard and chewing on his toy, but has a strong dislike for garden hoses.
In addition to
their airport security duty, Rhode Island Airport K9 officers often provide
supplemental support at public events, having assisted the Bristol Police
Department with the Fourth of July parade concerts and other holiday
festivities, have assisted the Providence Police Department with the NCAA
tournament, as well as assisting other local police departments in the past
when they have received bomb threats.
its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 3,830 U.S. made,
custom fitted, NIJ certified protective vests, in 50 states, through private
and corporate donations, at a value of $6.9 million dollars. 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 K9 graduates, as
well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $960.00.
Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283 and a five-year warranty, and an
average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s
throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer
opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides
information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any
denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O.
Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.
About T.F. Green
Airport: A convenient and low-cost international
gateway to New England, T.F. Green Airport (PVD) has a large catchment area
with 7.5 million residents within 90 minutes of the airport. It attracts
passengers from nearby Massachusetts and eastern Connecticut. PVD is located
just outside of Providence, Rhode Island. Well known for ease of traveler
access, affordable parking and short lines, T.F. Green Airport was named as one
of USA Today’s “Readers’ Choice Best Small Airports” for 2020.