BORGER, TX (KFDA) - One area police dog has a new look that will protect him as he continues to serve the panhandle.
Scott is a patrol dog who works with his handler, Officer Merrick, for the Borger Police Department.
And now Scott is rocking a new bullet proof vest.
This vest was donated by a charity called Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. This group seeks out communities whose police dogs can benefit from this extra K9 protection.
Scott is the only patrol dog in the panhandle outside of Amarillo, so he deals with more than just narcotics like most of his fellow four-legged officers.
"He is going to go into those situations where maybe they're checking a house for a burglary suspect, or if somebody is aggressive and they're not sure how that's going to go, the dog may be out with his handler in a team situation and he may go into that," said Brandon Strope, Assistant Police Chief.
Having this vest makes Scott's handler feel much better about bringing him into potentially dangerous situations.
"It's not fool proof, but again it does give some level of protection," said Strope. "If someone's trying to stab that dog in the body area and it's got that vest on, it's going to be pretty hard to do. That'll give the handler and the other officers time to react and hopefully intervene."
Scott's vest cost about $1,050 and weighs around 4 and a half pounds.
He does not wear it 24/7, but knows that when he puts it on it's time to work.
And he'll do whatever he has to to protect Merrick.
"Humans have reasoning," said Strope. "We can know if you go around a corner and it looks dangerous to back up. Those dogs are taught to protect their handlers and the coworkers that they work with. Having that vest and that protection gives that dog that same level of threat resistance that we have, so that way when he does what he's trained to do, hopefully it mitigates some of the threat to him."
The police department said Scott has been an asset to Borger in the 9 months he's worked with them, and are glad he now has an extra level of protection.