AST K9 receives bulletproof vest honoring slain trooper
An Alaska State Trooper K9 named after a slain trooper was presented a ballistic vest by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
K9 Skippy, a 4-year-old Czech Shepherd, was given the bullet- and stab-protective vest in recent months, according to a statement from troopers. Skippy is a dual-purpose dog who works with trooper Joshua Rallo on patrol and in drug detection cases in Fairbanks.
Skippy was renamed after slain trooper Sgt. Scott Johnson, the statewide K9 program coordinator who was shot and killed in Tanana in 2014, along with Trooper Gabe Rich. Johnson’s nickname was “Skippy,” troopers said. A special tag on Skippy’s vest reads “In memory of Sgt. Scott Johnson.”
The Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization donates similar vests and other assistance to law enforcement dogs throughout the U.S., according to their website. Skippy’s vest was made possible due to the efforts of Karlene and Rob Richards, troopers said.
A total of four trooper dogs are vested, according to AST spokeswoman Beth Ipsen: Skippy, Scout in Soldotna, and Blazer and Helo in the Valley. Five other K9s currently working alongside troopers do not have ballistic vests, she says.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly name AST spokeswoman Megan Peters as a source. This has been corrected.
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