Local News


Las Vegas police still looking for K9 vests

Posted at 9:32 PM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-19 22:15:29-04
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is still looking for the right ballistic vests for its K9 officers.
On March 31, LVMPD K9 patrol dog Nicky was killed during an exchange of gunfire with officers and an armed suspect in the 9800 block of Fast Elk Street. It was later determined Nicky died as a result of friendly fire.
As a result, the LVMPD received numerous inquiries on the use of K9 ballistic vests in normal patrol capacities.
At a press briefing Thursday LVMPD K9 section Lieutenant Jeff Hewes said the department does have bullet proof vests for all 19 of it's patrol K9s but it's not practical to use them all of the time.
"The vests that we've seen and tried so far do not breath properly and that will just add to dogs heat and the stress on the dog's body," said Hewes.
But the vests are used in particularly dangerous situations.
"If the handler feels that he's going to encounter a suspect with a gun and he could shoot the handler has the ability to put the vest on," explained Hewes.
According to LVMPD, people started donating money to by vests for the patrol dogs after Nicky's death.
The department has the money set aside and is continuing to look for better vests.
"Money is not a issue here, it's more about finding the vest that is going to keep the dogs safe, not just from the bullets but also from the stress that that extra weight is going to put on the dog's body," said Hewes.