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Monday, July 25, 2011

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - Heroes Vest Fund, Inc. will donate one additional tailored-made body armor vest to a Lexington County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit police dog. The vest will be donated at about 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 23 during the Vest Fest 2011 fund raiser at Virginia Hylton Park off Maiden Lane at the rear of the Lexington Municipal Complex in the town of Lexington.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts and Elaine Henderson, who founded Heroes Vest Fund, said the body armor vest will be donated to K-9 Ronin, a German Shepherd who works with K-9 Unit Sgt. Derek Applegate.

Each body armor vest costs $2,100, Henderson said. Heroes Vest Fund has donated five vests worth a total of $10,500 to the Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit.

Heroes Vest Fund previously donated body armor vests to K-9 Injas, who works with K-9 Deputy R.D. Longshore; K-9 Bayka, who works with K-9 Deputy Brian Hinz; K-9 Arcos, who works with K-9 Deputy Ted Xanthakis; and K-9 Barut, who works with K-9 Deputy Shannon Radford, Metts and Henderson said.

Crossroads Animal Hospital donated money to buy one body armor vest for K-9 Gunter in memory of the late Sheriff’s Department K-9 Bas, Metts and Henderson said. K-9 Gunter works with K-9 Deputy Adam Clayton.

Each body armor vest is specially manufactured in order to fit the body shape of each K-9 police dog, Metts and Henderson said. The vests are designed so that the police dogs can wear the vests the entire time that they are working with their assigned handlers.

“As a result of citizens’ generosity in donating money to Heroes Vest Fund, we will equip all six of our agency’s K-9 police dogs with body armor vests,” Metts said. “This specialized equipment, which is difficult to buy through the normal governmental budget process, protects the K-9 police dogs that help fulfill our agency’s mission of providing professional law enforcement services that enhance the quality of life for all people in Lexington County.”

Citizens who would like to make a donation to Heroes Vest Fund can do so via its website (www.heroesvestfund.org), Henderson said.

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