WARWICK, RI – August 25, 2020 – Rhode Island Airport Police Department has been awarded bullet and stab protective vests for the Airport Police K9s from to the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Sulek’s vest was embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of K9 Jethro, Canton, OH Police Department”. K9 Katy’s vest was embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of K9 Gabo, Jonesboro, AR EOW 1/16/20.”
Photos of Katy and Sulek modeling their new body armor are available for the media at: https://tinyurl.com/RIAC-K9s
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.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., established in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) charity 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. This potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K9 is U.S. made, custom fitted, and NIJ certified. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 4,004 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations. The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old, actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. K9s with expired vests are also eligible to participate. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, while a single donation of $960 will sponsor one vest. Each vest has a value of $1,744-$2,283, weighs an average of 4-5 lb., and comes with a five-year warranty. 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 donations at www.vik9s.org, or you may mail your contribution 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 and ranked #5 in Travel + Leisure Magazine’s “World’s Best” Survey of Top Domestic Airports.