Meet Sable, the K9 who protects the Tri-Cities and needs community support

KENNEWICK, Wash. — For many sheriff and police departments, K9 ballistic vests starting at $2,600 aren’t always in the budget. With the recent increase in assaults on law enforcement, including K9 agents, lifesaving equipment is essential.

Deputy David Frederick of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office is on a mission to protect his four-legged partner K9 Sable. He’s asking for help from the Tri-Cities community and the nonprofit, Keeping K9s in Kevlar, to help raise money for a custom-made K9 ballistic vest. The vest is designed to protect K9 Sable’s vital organs from stab wounds, shrapnel and bullets. Deputy Frederick said that due to advances in new technology, the ballistic vests created weigh about three pounds and can be worn throughout every shift.

“Sable and I are at the forefront of many major incidents that occur with violent people and have the ability to protect him if it is necessary to find ourselves in these situations; I looked at it and said it was something we had to do,” said Deputy David Frederick, manager of K9 Sable at the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Frederick said he contacted Keeping K9s in Kevlar, a nonprofit that helps law enforcement across the country raise money for lifesaving equipment and connect handlers to the equipment distributors, before the recent tragedy in Seattle. On January 5, 2022, Seattle’s K9 Jedi officer was stabbed and killed in the line of duty by a man wielding a machete and knife.

“We never really know what we’re going into or what we’re getting into. We do our best to know everything before we get there, but situations change. We never know, and it will be a piece of equipment that, God forbid something bad happens, could potentially help save his life,” Deputy Frederick said.

RELATED: Benton County Steps Up To Protect K9 Sable After Seattle Police Dog Is Stabbed

Deputy Frederick has been training with K9 Sable as his partner since Sable was 18 months old. In March 2022, K9 Sable will be four years old, and in that short time he has accomplished a lot. “Even with 400 hours for the basic certification for Washington State, it takes a lot more than 400 hours to get the dog ready for the streets,” Congressman Frederick said.

“Having dogs sometimes allows us to have a peaceful resolution without physical force, and that’s one of the main reasons we want to use K9s in 21st century policing.” – Deputy David Frederick, K9 Handler with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

Sable is a K9 Patroller trained in Apprehension, Tracking, Tracking, and Item Search and has been part of the Tri-Cities SWAT Team for over a year.

“We use dogs because of their keen sense of smell, hearing, and then sight. Dogs’ noses are 10,000 times more powerful in their olfactory senses than humans,” said MP Frederick.

A K9 officer’s bark is sometimes better than his bite as it helps defuse situations peacefully. “People don’t care that officers are there, that guns are pointed at them and human officers are ordering them to do things. Often when the K9s show up, they start barking and they know the dogs are there, they’re more willing to comply,” Deputy Frederick said.

When K9 Sable isn’t tracking down suspects, defusing situations, working with SWAT, protecting officers and the community, or working to rescue those lost in the wild, it’s a malinois/ fun-loving german shepherd. Frederick said every morning; Sable starts her shift with Puppuccinos.

K9 Marten

K9 Marten

“He loves attention from people. He’s fun to be around, has lots of energy, loves to play house but knows when he comes to work and sees his gear coming out, he’s ready to work,” said Deputy Frederick.

“I like to say he’s got a great on-off switch,” Deputy Frederick said, “especially if we apprehend someone; after that encounter, Sable takes a few seconds to breathe and relax like we would Then he becomes the lovable dog again that you can approach and pet, and he loves the attention.

Deputy Frederick has worked in law enforcement for 16 years and prior to that served with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Long Range Reconnaissance Detachment. He said it was his second K9 and the bond he created with his four-legged partner was life-changing and vital to law enforcement.

Deputy Frederick is asking for help from the community to raise money for the ballistic vest to ensure he can keep his partner safe and that his heart, lungs and vital organs are protected when he responds to dangerous situations. The Benton County Sheriff’s Office said they have already received tremendous support this week, but still need help.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION :

According to the Benton County Sheriff’s Foundation, “K-9 Sable will receive 100% of donations to fund the K9 Storm Kevlar Vest. If donations exceed this total at the end of the campaign, the funds will be transferred to other K9 needs or projects to help Benton County Sheriff’s Office K9s. All donations are tax deductible.”

“K9 Sable is a young dog, and he’s going to be around for a while. We want to make sure that when he’s making SWAT calls, patrol calls, or any other call, he has the extra protection he needs. He’s a great asset to our department, and we want to make sure he’s safe,” -Lt. Jason Erickson, Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

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