SCSO thanks community for K-9 ballistic vests donation

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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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