GEAUGA COUNTY, Ohio-- Police K-9s put their lives on the line to keep their partners and their communities safe.
Now a Geauga County couple is making sure the sheriff K-9s are protected when they put themselves in harm's way.
The K-9 unit for the Geauga County Sheriff's Department recently received three new bulletproof vests for their German Shepherds: Rotar, Miner and Spirit.
"It's very important because I wouldn't want something to happen to him when we are on the front lines doing our job every day," said Geauga County Deputy Jim Dhayer.
The dogs are usually the first ones to spring into action to catch a criminal so the vests will keep the dogs safe when they are searching for trouble.
"We went out on a suspect who was armed with a knife and a gun we did not have a vest at the time, so now I feel a little bit safer. So when we go out, that he does have something that I can utilize," said Deputy Greg Borden.
Since the sheriff's deputies spend most of their days with their K-9, they develop a special relationship because the dog is more than just a fellow officer.
"When we are home he doesn't separate from me. He's always with me constantly, so there's a very tight bond between him and I and helps us out on our job performance," said Deputy Jake Smith.
The three K-9 protective vests which cost about $900 a piece were given to the Geauga County Sheriff's Department anonymously; the sheriff said the people just wanted to give back.
"In the true spirit of giving, wasn't interested in any personal recognition at all from this, just wants to do something for his community," said Sheriff Dan McClelland of Geauga County.
And people who heard about the new protective vests think it's a good investment for the county.
"I think it's a wonderful idea. Not only do the police need to be protected, but the dogs do also, because they go in first," said Linda Daddario of Munson.