SCSO thanks community for K-9 ballistic vests donation


SARASOTA – When Judy Braham of Gulfcoast Marketing Consultants, LLC, saw a Facebook post from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office asking for help to buy K-9 vests, she wanted to help.

The ballistic K-9 vests cost $1,700 a piece.

“..which was quite hefty, and I mentioned perhaps we could do a fundraiser,” Braham said.

So she started a GoFundMe page.

Between that and other donors, $8,500 was raised to purchase five vests.

Now Sheriff Tom Knight, the K-9’s and their handlers are saying, “Thank you.”

“They’re more than just a partner to us,” S.C.S.O. Sergeant Troy Sasse, who oversees the K-9 Unit, said. “They’re part of our family. My kids play with him, and it means the world to me they wanna help protect these animals.”

The lightweight, four-pound vests are a big change from the previous 10-pound vests.

“They’re very breathable, so the dogs don’t overheat as much,” Sasse said. “They’re puncture-resistant and stab-resistant; they can withstand a 22, a 45, a 357, and a 9 millimeter round.”

Sass says it’s a crucial investment.

Braham is thankful her ‘paw-some’ community could see that.

“It says to me the community loves their K-9’s and wants to see them protected. It says to me the community loves their community,” Braham said.

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Hallie Peilet
Hallie Peilet is an Indiana University graduate with a degree in broadcast journalism, and a minor in music. She has had experience in several media outlets. Previously, she interned for WCIU-TV in Chicago, learning about production and live reporting. During her senior year at IU, she worked as a reporter and anchor for her campus news station, and as a multimedia journalist for WTIU/WFIU, the PBS/NPR affiliate in Bloomington. She grew up just outside of Chicago in Munster, Indiana, and in her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, discovering new music, and watching Chicago sports. If you have an idea for a story, e-mail her at