The Okanogan County Sheriff's Canine Unit is currently comprised of two certified teams. The teams are split into two separate functions; Patrol and Narcotics. Sergeant Preston Ray is the supervisor of the teams.
Our teams are certified under the standards set out by the Washington State Police Canine Association (WSPCA) as well as the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center (WSCJTC) .
Our teams are available 24 hours/day and respond to many types of calls in all weather conditions. Calls for service include tracking lost persons or persons suspected of committing a crime.
Searching for discarded evidence, both known and unknown. Searching for suspects concealed in buildings. Locating prohibited narcotics hidden in vehicles, structures and on persons.
Our Patrol dogs also provide protection for their handlers and deterring ongoing criminal behavior. We also provide a public relations service to the citizens of our county by performing demonstrations that exhibit the skills needed to accomplish our mission.
The Okanogan County Sheriff's Office K9s have received three ballistic vests thanks to a non-profit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. will be providing over 350 law enforcement dogs nationwide with the protective body armor in memory of K9 Rocco of the Pittsburgh Police Department who sacrificed his life in the line of duty in January of 2014.
All vests will be embroidered with the sentiment, "In Memory of K9 Rocco, Pittsburgh Police Department".
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc a 501c(3) organization is still accepting donations through their website: www.vik9s.org and via mail P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.
In 2013, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. partnered with Groupon and was named as one of The Best of 2013 campaigns. The non-profit raised $155, 537.33 in just one week, which provide ballistic vests for 163 law enforcement dogs in 30 states. There are an estimated 30,000 police dogs throughout the United States.
ABOUT VESTED INTEREST IN K9S, INC.
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 2,100 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 1.9 million dollars. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.
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.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050.00. Each vest has a value between $1,795 & $2,234 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.