A Rapid City police dog will be getting a bulletproof vest like this one to wear while on the job.

A Rapid City police dog will soon have a bulletproof vest to wear while on duty.

Xander, a three-year-old Dutch Shepherd, is set to receive a donated vest valued at $950 from Vested Interest in K-9s, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit.

The dog has been on the force since February 2012. He assists his handler, Officer Jason LaHaie, with building searches, arrests and recovering evidence, Rapid City Assistant Chief Karl Jegeris said in an email.

Jegeris said the dog was involved in an arrest on Sunday in the 700 block of Plum Tree Lane in Rapid City. In that case, Xander searched a crawl space to find a suspect hiding from police who had a warrant out for a sex offender registry violation from Wisconsin. He was arrested without incident.

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Since 2009, Vested Interest in K-9s has donated 585 vests to police dogs across the country, according to its founder, Sandy Marcal. She said the goal is to eventually provide a vest for every police dog in need in the country.

The money for Xander's vest is coming through its latest campaign with the website Groupon. Marcal said they have raised more than $250,000 since mid-February to buy vests for police dogs. They are accepting donations of $10 or more on the site through March 5.

Xander will be the 38th dog to receive a vest with the money, she said.

To qualify for a vest, a police department must apply for a dog that is on active duty and is at least 19 months old, she said.

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Contact Meredith Colias at 394-8417 or meredith.colias@rapidcityjournal.com.

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