K-9 officers with the Muskogee Police Department are learning to operate in their new gear.
The department recently asked the city for $2,200 for protective vests.
From sniffing out illegal drugs--to chasing down dangerous criminals, the K-9 officers are on the front lines of police work.
And while they may look tough, they're just as vulnerable as their human handlers. In fact, Muskogee police say 62 K-9 officers across the country were killed in the line of duty this year.
"They're more than just a tool; they're our partners,” MPD Sgt. William Peters said. “You know, we're with them more than we're with our families. …Unfortunately, we have to put these dogs into dangerous situations sometimes, and we feel like we owe it to them to make their job as safe as possible."
And just like their human counterparts, the dogs have a vest that protects their vital organs and is bulletproof.
“I was surprised that we hadn't done it before,” interim city manager Roy Tucker said.
Tucker said when he got the request for the vests, it was an easy decision.
“These are a lifeline for our officers,” Tucker said.
Now the K-9s are learning how to do what they do best, with a little added armor, and it doesn't seem to slow them down.
Muskogee Police have three dogs -- one is serving with the military overseas before making his way back to the states to work here at the police department.
“They make our jobs a lot safer and hopefully they make the city safer,” Peters said.