by Danielle Wagner
WATERLOO (KWWL) Three K-9s with the Waterloo Police Department will soon be more protected on the job.
Earlier this year, Devonshire School in Waterloo raised more than $400 to help provide bullet proof vests for police dogs.
After hearing about that effort, St. Ed's Early Childhood Center in Waterloo also decided to help out.
Police Chief Tom Jennings said there's a growing concern to protect the dogs as much as possible, but the money is limited. That's where students at St. Ed's Early Childhood Center in Waterloo come in.
During the summer the students held a "Coins for K-9s" fundraiser.
"We had to raise money to get bullet proof vests for dogs," said seven-year-old Jenna Schott.
For about five weeks, students brought in loose change.
"We made coin boxes and people would bring money and put them in," said Schott.
"There were some children that really go into it, and so each day they would bring their bags of coins," said Susie Schaefer with St. Ed's.
The Waterloo Police Department K-9 Program is funded strictly through donations. The Guernsey Foundation is a major sponsor, paying for the dogs' vet fees and training. Chief Jennings said every dollar donated is a big help.
"This was something we're always looking to keep the dogs safe. The level of violence has grown over the years and there was a concern how do we protect the k-9s. With these vests we've been talking about it, but again money's the big issue," said the chief.
Preschool through seventh grade students at St. Ed's raised $317.
"We just told the kids even if we donate ten dollars to the police department, every little bit helps," said Schaefer.
"$317 in the big picture isn't three million, but it's a good start and it enables us to get it going," said Chief Jennings.
The chief said one bullet proof vest for a dog costs around $800. He said the department hopes to order the first vest soon and then the goal is provide vests for all three dogs.
Thanks to their efforts, the students at St. Ed's got to see a demonstration from Sergeant Fangman and his dog Max. As well as an ice cream party.
Reporter: Danielle Wagner