An anonymous corporate donor is offering to equip some canine members of Toronto’s police force with armoured vests designed to protect them from sharp weapons.
The Toronto Police Services Board is to consider the offer of 18 vests at its meeting on Thursday.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders says in a brief to the board that the donor came forward after Lonca, a canine with the force, was seriously injured last year by a suspect armed with a machete.
The force’s canine unit has been in existence since 1989 and currently has 22 officers and 33 dogs.
Saunders says the donor has ordered the vests – designed to protect a dog’s major internal organs if attacked with a sharp or blunt object – from Line of Fire Defence Systems in Edmonton at a total cost of more than $22,000.
Saunders argues the police dogs are valued members of the service and fulfil an integral role in protecting Toronto’s citizens.