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Dollars and scents: K9 officers equipped with vests thanks to fundraiser

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Some of Minnesota's finest are getting new protective equipment. And this batch of a dozen bullet-proof vests is going to the dogs.

The Pioneer Press reports a St. Paul fundraising event this fall helped bring in enough money to buy protective vests for 12 K9 officers. The vests, which also protect against stab wounds, cost $950 each and come with a five-year warranty, the newspaper says.

Five of the vests are going to K9s with the Ramsey County Sheriff's office. Others are going to police departments in Duluth, Rochester, and Farmington and sheriff's offices in Mille Lacs, Cass, and Stearns counties.

As the St. Cloud Times reports, the Stearns County deputy who'll benefit from a vest is Freddie (right), a bloodhound who's been with the department for a year and tracks suspects and lost people.

Stearns County notes in an announcement posted to Facebook that all of the Minnesota vests purchased this year feature an inscription recognizing Scott Patrick, a Mendota Heights police officer who was killed by a gunman in July.

The equipment is provided to departments across the country by a non-profit group called Vested Interest in K9s. One of the ways the group raises money for the purchase of vests is through sales of calendars put together by photographers and sponsors who donate their time.

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