• Collier County Sheriff's Office

  • Collier County Sheriff's Office

Published: Apr 11, 2013 3:06 PM EDT

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Protective vests were donated to two members of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit on Thursday.

Members of the Retired Law Enforcement Association of Southwest Florida presented protective bullet-andstab-resistant vests for K9s Disco and Kerel at a news conference at CCSO Headquarters. The donation means that all seven CCSO K9s now have protective vests.

“K9s not only keep our deputies safe, they keep our community safe, and today we are going to make them a little safer,” Sheriff Rambosk said.

The nonprofit association based in Port Charlotte has more than 90 members retired from local, state and federal law enforcement organizations.

The group has provided protective vests to 29 K9s. The vests, which retail for $1,500 apiece, are high-tech, lightweight and custom-fitted to each dog.

“Our goal is to vest every needy K9,” said Ray Hubbert, president of the association.

The donation to CCSO was made possible thanks to Neil Monkman of Cape Coral. Monkman collected $2,000 from visitors to his Planet Monkman Christmas Light Show, a computerized light show synchronized to a variety of music with more than 125,000 lights at his residence. He donated the money he collected to the Retired Law Enforcement Association of Southwest Florida.

“I couldn’t think of a better cause,” Monkman said. “These animals are so dedicated. We can’t do enough for them.”

Sgt. Raul Roman, who supervises the CCSO K-9 Unit, said K9s risk their lives on a daily basis. They are deployed ahead of their human counterparts, often confronting dangerous situations, he said.