Austin police have a new tool to make sure they're protecting the K9 members of the police force.
APD received nine ballistic vests for their nine K9s. It was a donation from the non-profit Vested Interest in K9s.
Police say the vests are each worth about $5,000 and should last them about five years.
Sergeant Chris Gwaldo says officers are required to wear ballistic vests, and there's no reason why K9s shouldn't be required to as well.
"The majority of the calls we take are high risk, sometimes involving knives and firearms. So it's important that the officer's partners, our K9's, in the city are protected," Sgt. Gwaldo said.
The vests also help protect the dogs from stab wounds as well. The last time an APD K9 was shot was in the 80's, but several have been injured since then.