Sarasota Co. woman helps raise funds for sheriff K9s ballistic vests

Image 1 of 3

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit is now fully equipped with ballistic vests. 

They'll be protected from just about any situation. 

"You never know whats going to happen each night. Every night is new," said Sgt. Troy Sasse. "I'm almost speechless. It's truly an honor and I'm so grateful for them."

Last April, Judy Braham of Gulf Coast Marketing Associates found out five of Sarasota County's K-9's needed the gear.

She started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the vests. 

Within four days, the community answered her call - donating well over $5,000. 

"There are people who gave $100, there are people who gave $50, people who gave $5. Every dollar given helped us reach our goal," Braham said. 

The vests cost $1,700 each. Braham, a private donor, and the Nam Knights motorcycle club covered the costs of one vest each. 

"We were instantly in. That's who we are and what we do," Nam Knights President Bob Woods said. "It gives you goosebumps to know that they have a backup." 

It gives Sgt. Sasse and the K-9 team an extra sense of security, knowing his partner, Indy, and K-9 Ryker, Ando, Byrk, Eros, and Knox are protected as they face the unknown. 

"Hopefully nothing bad happens and they will never need these vests to protect them, but in case something does, and the chance of that happening is possible, they have the vest on to keep them as safe as possible, to make sure they go home at night," he said.