Washington City’s famous police dog ready for action with new bullet-proof vest

WASHINGTON CITY — In a ceremony held Saturday at Zion Harley Davidson, Officer Tank, Washington City Police Department’s “K9 with a million ‘likes'” was outfitted with a state-of-the-art bullet-proof vest to protect the four-legged law agent in whatever danger he may face.

After getting a million “Likes” in less than 48 hours, Washington City Police Department’s K9, Tank, recieved a bullet proof vest, Washington City, Utah, June 15, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Marcia Whitney, St. George News

Another furry crime fighter, Atticus, Washington City’s K9-in-training, will also be protected thanks to the Vietnam Veterans of America Southern Utah Chapter 961, as Dan Greathouse presented a check for the K9’s bullet-proof vest that will be presented later in the year.

The ceremony started at 10 a.m. near the entrance of Zion Harley Davidson located at 2345 N. Coral Canyon Blvd. in Washington City amid a crowd of onlookers, with the “Wall That Heals,” a traveling half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., in the backdrop.

“To have the vest presented here, with all of the veterans and even the memorial wall; it’s just a great opportunity for us to be a part of this,” Washington City Police Chief Jim Keith said.

Tread Armament & Weaponry’s owner, Nick Whitney, presented the vest to the Washington City Police Department. Tank’s handler, Officer Ryan Ericksen, then outfitted the K9 during a ceremony 2 years in the making.

Tread Armament and Weaponry provides bullet proof vests to law enforcement agencies across the country, as well as providing security services, protection and armament supplies.

L to R: Ryan Ericksen, Nick Whitney and Jim Keith with Tank help present the K9 his bullet-proof vest at Zion Harley Davidson in Washington City, Utah, March 18, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

“K9 vests are a passion for us. We love the dogs and we love to see them get the same protection as their human counterparts,” Whitney said.

The vest designed for Tank is “no different from what the officers wear, and is specifically fit for the K9 that is working side-by-side with the handler,” Keith said. “We want them protected in every way they can be.”

The “Bullet Blocker” is made from the thinnest material available. The vest Tank now sports is comprised of 13 layers of Kevlar, insulated with 1,000 count thread, flame resistant, can stop a .44 magnum bullet fired at point blank range and is stab resistant with up to a 4 inch blade.

Tank’s vest was funded through efforts of “Vesting America’s Police K9’s” and community support.

The protection is fit for a police officer, Whitney said.

Vesting America’s Police K9’s, a subsidiary of Tread Armament, is a nonprofit organization launched in 2015 that provides bullet-proof vests for the K-9 officers across the country, having provided vests for more than 120 K9’s to date.

Ericksen and Tank completed a 2-month certification course and narcotics training to become certified narcotics detectors. Over the last 12 months, the K9 has been busy assisting Ericksen in the field. Both are scheduled to attend a patrol school in the months ahead where the duo will learn apprehension, evidence location and tracking techniques, as well as other facets of police work.

“It’s just been a fun ride to have the dog,” Ericksen said, “and to work with somebody who talks back more than my kids.”

Ericksen and Tank go to work together, they return home together, and when it’s time for Ericksen to relax, Tank is right there with him, the officer said.

In the beginning

Tank was born on January 6, 2015, to “Six” as part of Havoc K9, Inc’s program, an Ogden-based nonprofit group that raises and trains puppies to work with law enforcement and first responders before donating them to local agencies, saving departments as much as $20,000 per animal.

Tank was presented to the Washington City Police Department by Havoc K9,  in December, 2015, and has been at Ericksen’s side ever since.

Read more: Police dog Tank visits City Council, chief thanks Havoc K9

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.


Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • mmsandie March 19, 2017 at 8:31 am

    They should have gotten the BEST bulletproof vest from Vested K 9 in Taunton mass. They are custom fit, tested by American Safety Council .. They extend from full neck to tail and under tummy.. And safe from any gun shot, knife etc..but I guess this is beter than nothing…

  • Henry March 19, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Glad to see “Tank” outfitted with a bulletproof vest, but give him lots of water! Some of us can personally verify that these bulletproof vests retain a lot of heat in the desert and one can dehydrate very quickly.

  • Proud Rebel March 19, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Love at first bite! : – )

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.