Students buy safety gear for K-9 officer

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Pictured: Warrensburg K-9 "Brutus" Pictured: Warrensburg K-9 "Brutus"

WARRENSBURG, Ill. (WAND) – An effort to help protect a K-9 officer ended up succeeding.

Students at Warrensburg-Latham Elementary School worked together to raise $1,000 for a dog serving in the Warrensburg Police Department. The idea was to give “Brutus” a bulletproof Kevlar vest.

K-9 officers with Warrensburg police have a solid relationship with students, coming in to visit them as early as preschool age. Second and fourth grade students organized the fundraiser.

It’s those types of interactions that police say make the K-9s so important.

“We not only use them for the narcotics training to get the drugs off the street, but also to provide a community relations tool that breaks down barriers,” WPD Chief Gregory Wheeler said. “Animals break down barriers and make it easier for someone to come up and talk to us.”

Police departments spend thousands of dollars on K-9 officers. The price includes training and tools and can run to up $10,000.

The fundraiser also raised money to give police other tools, including oxygen masks and Narcan, a drug that works to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. 

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