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A bulletproof vest for crime-fighting canines

February 7, 1997
Web posted at: 10:00 p.m. EST

NEW YORK (CNN) -- It's the latest in fashion for the crime-fighting canine: a bulletproof vest for K-9 police dogs.

The dogs' new duds will be sent to K-9 units in 10 precincts of the New York police department.

They're part of the "Robo Dog" program, which includes a 3-pound, infrared video camera carried around the neck of police dogs who scout dangerous crime scenes. The "dog-cams" are sent into dark places where a suspect might be hiding.

The vests, which cost from $325 to $400, can stop .38-caliber and 9 mm bullets, just like the bulletproof vests officers are required to wear.

The canine versions have their drawbacks -- they weigh 6 1/2 pounds, tend to restrict movement and they can be uncomfortable, particularly on warm days.

The good news is -- in the K-9 unit's 11-year history, no dog has ever been shot.


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