OPD raising money to outfit K-9s with bullet proof vests

OPD raising money to outfit K-9s with bullet proof vests
K-9 officer and his dog (Source: KWES).

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The Odessa Police Departments K-9s are busy around the clock protecting their officers but they don't have any protect themselves.

"You have your partner with you all the time, your back up is there all the time. It's just a matter of bailing them out if you need them," said Cpl. Joe Galindo.

For Galindo, his K-9 is more than just a dog.

"They are like our children, they go home with us, they work with us. They're our partners. It would be nice to help protect them," said Galindo

OPD's four K-9s are on call 24/7. Many times, calls that put them in danger.

"FBI, DEA, U.S. Marshals, all the federal agencies request us and we will go and assist those agencies. We also go and do narcotic searches, area searches," said K-9 Officer Tyler Rodgers.

Despite being extremely busy, OPD's K-9s have no protection from the bad guys. K-9 officers hope to raise money to buy bullet and stab proof vests just like they wear.

"We've been in situations where the dog is faced, where guns are involved or knives, and having this vest would protect them a lot more, give them more of a chance," said Galindo.

Instead of putting an officer in harms way, the dog is sent in to disarm a suspect. The dogs also assist with searches, sometimes for missing children. K-9 officers visit schools in the area as well.

The department wants to raise $5,000 for the vests along with some upgraded training equipment.

This is Galindo's second K-9 and he says he's hoping to bring him home as a family pet after the dog retires.

"I have one retired with me right now. He's great with the family. When he retires, I'll take him too," said Galindo.

You can make a donation to the department at any time or donate during the Bustin' for Badges event in April. For more information, visit bustinforbadges.org.

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