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WEST JORDAN— Following the recent shooting death of a Unified police K-9, a West Jordan woman recently donated $4,000 to the West Jordan Police Department to equip their furry allies with body armor.
Alexandra Eframo, 84, said she was moved to make the donation for bulletproof vests after the July 6 death of Dingo, who was killed in the line of duty helping U.S. Marshals Service take a violent fugitive into custody.
"Dingo died protecting his handler and so I thought 'well, our dogs don't have a protective vest, so I thought here in West Jordan I was going to donate it,'" Eframo said.
Eframo said she loves animals and wants to be a contributor to her community.
"I just want to try and give my money in areas that I feel very passionate about, and I feel very passionate about our little K-9 dogs," Eframo said.
She also wants to send the message that it is important for people to be involved in their communities, an attribute police agree with.
"It means a lot when the community steps up and helps out," West Jordan Police Sgt. Joe Monson said.
The donation will help cover most of the cost to outfit three of the department's four police dogs, he said. The first three dogs are multi-purpose K-9s that are often used to apprehend suspects. Monson said the fourth police K-9 is a narcotics-only dog that they hope to equip later on.
"Bulletproof vests are very expensive and we do outfit all of our officers," Monson said. "We're excited for the opportunity that we will have to purchase bulletproof vests to protect our K-9 officers as well."
Monson said equipping police dogs has not typically been a key issue for police, but a number of recent K-9 deaths has raised the department's attention.
"These K-9s are very important to us," Monson said. "They're not only just to a tool, which they are a great tool, but they are also partners."
Eframo said she is a first-generation American, whose parents came to America from Belarus. She said that being able to take part in her community holds special meaning to her.
In 2014, Eframo also donated $10,000 to the West Jordan police to help purchase a new police dog after the loss of Starsky, a West Jordan K-9 that died undergoing surgery.