NEW ROCHELLE, New York --Two women who discovered they have a common bond took their love for animals and used it to help the New Rochelle Police Department in protecting three of its very valuable assets.
Valor is one of New Rochelle's K-9 cops, highly trained, but now with a valuable piece of equipment after bulletproof vests were donated to the department.
"I was ecstatic," Officer Matthew Glass aid. "It was a very nice gesture, and with everything that's going on, it's nice to know that you still are appreciated."
Three vests were presented by Jennifer Ubl, who works at Larchmont Animal Hospital, and Jessica Levine, who takes her dog there. A casual conversation about wanting to help led to the creation of a GoFundMe page that raised $3,000 to purchase the pricey vests.
"It wasn't just New Rochelle residents," Levine said. "They were Long Island, California, everyone was reaching out to help. It was very touching."
Like a human officer's vest, these are made of Kevlar and are bullet- and stab-resistant.
"Their job is to keep us safe and to protect us," Ubl said. "And I just wanted to keep them safe and protect them."
The vests cost $1,000 each.
"When we use these dogs, that means whatever's going on is pretty serious," Officer Marc Weinerman said. "We never know who has that weapon, and now they'll be protected."
And that better protection extends to those in surrounding communities, where New Rochelle PD often assist because neighboring departments don't have K-9 units due to the cost.
"You have to have a car for them, air conditioning," New Rochelle Police Commissioner Patrick Carroll said. "You have to have the food, the training, the equipment. And the last on the list is a bulletproof vest."
Now, these potentially life-saving items can be checked off that list.