114 North Main Street
Henderson, KY 42420

The Henderson Police department outfits K-9 member, Kari, with new ballistic vest

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When St. Joe Veterinary Hospital’s Care Specialist, Jessica Hewig, began the process of finding donors to help outfit one of her favorite members of the Henderson Police Department, she knew just where to start.

“Tim Robbins contacted me and said he knew of a Henderson PD K9 that was in need of a ballistic vest. With his wife being an employee at Independence Bank he helped to align the puzzle pieces,” explains Hewig. “I was so lucky to be a part of helping Kari get his vest. With donations from Independence Bank, Andrea O’Bryan and other local donors we were able to all come together and keep this wonderful dog protected for many years to come.”

Kari, a 3-year-old German Shepherd from the Netherlands, had previously worked with is partner, Officer Michael Langston, without the safety of a ballistic vest. Kari is dual trained in tracking and apprehension of suspects, detection of narcotics, obedience and agility. In general, K-9s provide search and rescue services, apprehend suspects and provide demonstrations for local schools.

With the addition of Kari in 2018, the Henderson police Department now had two K-9 units working together. Sergeant Kyle Stone and his K-9, Exo have been serving Henderson as a team for the last 6 years.

“The biggest factor to consider about donations to our department is the largest area of need,” said Sergeant Kyle Stone with Henderson Police Department. “The vests can become a secondary thought because they are benefitting an animal, but working with our K-9’s every day, we understand their dedication and importance. It’s especially encouraging these days when the community comes together to show support for our officers.”

Along with Independence Bank’s $500 donation, additional community members helped pull together contributions to purchase the $800 Modular Ballistic Vest.

“Finding ways to serve our community is what we do,” said Independence Bank President, Jim Davis. “To be given an opportunity to recognize one of these dogs and ensure that they are able to work safely and give some peace of mind to their handlers is an exciting project to be part of.”

Jessica continues to fundraise and identify needs in surrounding counties for K-9 vests.

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The Bank held a small presentation on Wednesday, August 26th in honor of Kari and his handler, K-9 Officer Michael Langston.

“It relieves a lot of stress and anxiety for me knowing that Kari has a vest protecting him,” said. Officer Langston.

“We hope that the officers and K-9 Kari know that they have friends at Independence Bank,” said Davis. “This was a donation for the books and one that we will proudly remember every time we see Kari helping to keep out hometown that much safer.”