They are sworn officers, too.

In August, Antioch police almost lost a sworn officer to a gunman’s bullet. Although the dog was back to work within a couple of weeks, it was a shock and a warning call to the department.

But preventing a similar incident from ending even worse is a challenge for a department and city that has battled deflating budgets and has to find ways to even pay the officers they have. Fortunately, a volunteer organization along with public donations raised the money to outfit the dogs with customized bullet- and knife-resistant vests.

At five pounds per vest, they are smaller than some of the other lines of k-9 protection offered, but they also allow the dogs greater mobility. The individually fit vests cost about $1,200 each.

From the Contra Costa Times:

Four Antioch police dogs modeled their new body armor this week, the first safety gear that officers here have received for their fleet-footed partners.

“Thor is the reason we are all here today,” said Lt. John Vanderklugt of Antioch Police Department’s senior ranking canine, who took a bullet last summer.

Both bullet- and knife-resistant, the $1,200 vests come courtesy of The Police and Working K-9 Foundation, an all-volunteer organization that also pays for emergency medical care for both working and retired canines.

Read the full article here.