Alexandria K9 to Receive Body Armor

A dog from the Alexandria Police Department will be getting body armor thanks to a charity donation.

Czekaj (pronounced Check-aye), a six-year-old K9, will be receiving a ballistic and stab-protective vest. He's been helping Alexandria Police for the past four years.

"Dogs are in just as must danger as the officers," Alexandria Police spokeswoman Crystal Nosal said. "It's important that they're safe too."

Costs for dogs' protective vests can be as high as $800. The donation for Czekaj's vest came from Vested Interest in K9s, a charity devoted to providing protective vests to dogs in law enforcement. The vest is sponsored by the Alexandria Police Foundation and Pamela Verick of Alexandria.

Czekaj's vest will be embroidered with the phrase "In honor of the Alexandria Police Citizen’s Academy."

He will be the Alexandria Police Department's sixth dog to receive a vest -- K9s Change, Gage, XigXag, Trajan and Zara received vests in February.

With the extreme heat of summer, armor for a dog can sometimes be dangerous. In Arlington, Texas, a dog recently died after becoming overheated while wearing a protective vest. However, Alexandria Police said they are prepared to handle possible problems.

"Handlers are always with the dogs and all of the cars always have A/C," Nosal said. "We're prepared to deal with any issues."

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