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SEPTA Transit Police Department's K9 Jagger Receives Gift of Body Armor

Heather Redfern
Public Information Manager

Christmas came a few days early for SEPTA Transit Police K9 Jagger - right before the holiday, the 15-month veteran of the Authority's K9 unit received a new bullet-and stab-protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. Jagger's vest was sponsored by a fundraiser hosted by Alaska K9 Center, in North Pole, Alaska, and is embroidered with the sentiment "In memory of K9 Helo, Alaska State Trooper".

Jagger, a four-year old German shepherd, is trained for patrol and explosive detection. He patrols the SEPTA system with his handler, Officer Jackie Trower. He also lives with Trower and his family, which includes three children and their seven-year old dog, another shepherd.

"Jagger has made himself at home with my kids and our other dog," said Trower. "He is not only my co-worker; he is a member of my family."

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 2,600 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over $2.1 million.

The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

"A K9 unit is a valuable asset to any police force and I am especially proud of the dogs and officers we have in our department," said SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel. "Thank you to Vested Interest in recognizing the importance of K-9 officers and for their donations to protect the dogs that are working to assist the public."

Vested Interest's donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050. Each vest has a value between $1,795 - $2,234 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of four-five ponds. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.

Officer Trower and Jagger show off Jagger's new vest while on patrol at SEPTA's 13th Street Market-Frankford Line Station.

Jagger's bullet-and stab-protective vest was donated by Vested Interest in memory of Alaska State Trooper K9 Helo.