Novato K9s to be outfitted in protective vests

All three of the Novato Police Department’s K9s soon will be wearing bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a donation from the charitable organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

Koa, a 2-year-old German Shepherd, is currently being trained in narcotics detection and will be back in service with Officer Sean Sinnott.

Novato police have two other dogs that are trained in searching, handler protection and narcotics detection. Both dogs already have ballistic protection vests.

Koa’s vest is sponsored by the Hausman Family Foundation of California and is embroidered with the words “This gift of protection provided by the Hausman Family Foundation.”

The nonprofit Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. located in East Taunton, Mass. provides the vests nationwide. Since it was established in 2009, it has provided more than 1,600 vests in 49 states through private and corporate donations at a cost of $1.5 million.

The 4-5-pound vests have a 5-year warranty and are offered to law enforcement agencies for a suggested donation $1,050 but are valued between $1,795-$2,234, according to the company’s website The vests are custom made by Armor Express in Central Lake, Mich.