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Friday, January 27, 2012

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - Heroes Vest Fund, Inc., a Lexington-based non-profit group, donated tracking harnesses for each of the six K-9 police dogs that serve with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit. The harnesses cost a combined total of about $534.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said Elaine Henderson, founder and president of Heroes Vest Fund, presented the tracking harnesses to the Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit. Each tracking harness includes a handle, Sheriff’s Department patches and reflective “SHERIFF” panel, which identifies the dog as a police dog with the Sheriff’s Department.

Heroes Vest Fund previously donated four body armor vests worth a total of $8,400 to police dogs with the Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit, Metts said. Heroes Vest Fund 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.

Henderson founded Heroes Vest Fund with the intent to provide body armor vests for all police dogs that work with law enforcement agencies in South Carolina, Metts said. In order to raise money to buy the body armor vests, Henderson organized the creation of a 2011 calendar that featured deputies and police dogs with the Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit. Henderson also organized a bass fishing tournament and Vest Fest music festival.

“Members of our agency’s K-9 Unit are very appreciative of Elaine and the citizens who donated money to Heroes Vest Fund,” Metts said.

“This specialized equipment, which is difficult to buy through the normal governmental budget process, protects 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,” Metts said.

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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