- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) - A southwestern Michigan sheriff’s department says two of its police dogs have a bigger margin of safety, thanks to a nationwide effort to equip the animals with bullet-proof vests.

The Berrien County sheriff’s department announced Wednesday that Nero and Pokky got the ballistic vests as part of a $335,000 program to equip 350 police dogs with the bullet protection.

The department says that the “Occasions” campaign for Groupon Grassroots took place in February and March.

The department says that the company Vested Interest in K9s Inc. is providing the protective body armor in memory of K9 Rocco, a Pittsburgh police dog that died in the line of duty in January.

All vests will be embroidered with the words, “In Memory of K9 Rocco, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.”

Nero and Pokky went on the job in March, and “are currently assigned to the road patrol division and are available to assist all law enforcement agencies throughout the County of Berrien, in narcotic detection, explosive detection, handler protection, and the location of missing or wanted individuals,” the sheriff’s department said.

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