Three local Virginia State Police K9 Teams are now sporting the latest in state-of-the-art canine protective vests thanks to the generosity of regional companies.
The Holtzman Corp., headquartered in Mount Jackson, Luray Caverns, based in Page County, and BuckObsession, a nationally televised show located in Fauquier County, are the companies contributing to the latest K9 equipment.
Each business provided funds for a new, cutting-edge, ballistic K9 vest.
The specialized, soft armor vests offer increased life-saving protection for the patrol canine that are often the first to make entry in such dangerous assignments as performing building searches, tracking suspects or called in for tactical operations. The vests’ upgraded, design is more lightweight which allows the dog to wear the armor on shift all day; something the current vest is unable to do.
“Buck Obsession wanted to give back to the community,” said show producer Steve Lewis. “As a law enforcement officer and former K9 handler with the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office, this opportunity was close to my heart and I had a great understanding that this donation would make a difference in keeping K9 “Ace” and his handler, Trooper Lewis, safe on duty.”
While Buck Obsession’s donation provided a ballistic vest to “Ace,” the Holtzman Corporation’s contribution benefited patrol K9 “Baron” and Luray Caverns supplied K9 “Argo” with the same Level 3 enhanced protective body armor, which is equivalent to the current level of protective armor issued to troopers.
“Luray Caverns is pleased for the opportunity to assist with enhanced protection for a very special “Trooper” Argo,” said Luray Caverns Company President John Graves (See attached photo). “This important team deserves our support along with the best equipment as they work every day to safeguard our citizens as well as visitors to the Commonwealth.”
“I think we should support our state and local police,” adds Bill Holtzman, President & Owner of Holtzman Corporation. “They do a great job and put their lives on the line every day which is why I like to support the vests for the dogs.”
In 2016, there have been eight K9 line-of-duty deaths in the U.S., of which four working police dogs were killed by gunfire. Last year, there were 26 K9 line-of-duty deaths across the country.*
“We appreciate the support from the community to help ensure the safety of our patrol dogs working in law enforcement,” said Captain Todd M. Taylor, Virginia State Police Culpeper Division Commander. “These animals help keep their human partners safe and run into harm’s way daily to serve the community.”
All three vests are in use by the K9 teams which were acquired over the past several months.