Getting protection for everyone on the force

AUSTIN, Minn. – A local police department is trying to raise money to protect one of their own.

Sonic is a member of the Austin Police Department’s K-9 unit. He has been assigned to the department’s Special Incident Response Team (SIRT).

The officers in this unit need and use protective armor, however Sonic does not have any.

“There’s been an uptick here in the state the last few years of police dogs being assaulted. Some have been stabbed, some have been shot and some have been beaten with blunt instruments when they’re clearing buildings. We would like to give Sonic the best protection we can, because whenever we do these kinds of operations, he’s right out front,” said Lt. Matthew Holten, Sonic’s partner.

To raise money for protective gear, some officers will be running in the upcoming Superhero Dash 5k in Austin. They hope to raise $1,000.

“He’s been training with us and coming in with us. All of us have body armor when we go into a residence. There have been situations where dogs have been injured or killed. With the dog being on our team now, we felt as a team that all of us should have the same equipment,” said Mark Walski of the Austin Police Department and SIRT.

The officers taking part in the 5k run will be wearing their protective vests. Walski said they weigh around 25 pounds.

The event takes place on Sept. 13th. Walski said any money raised above the $1,000 mark will be donated back to help cover the cost of the race.

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