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BSU professor says research may help with K-9 bulletproof vests

Dr. Uwe Reischl says his research being done to help agriculture worker with heat stress could translate to K-9 bulletproof vests.

bulletproof vests for K-9s are a topic that's been on the forefront in our community ever since Jardo, a Boise Police K-9, was shot and killed in the line of duty earlier this month.

On Friday, the Boise Police Department said none of their K-9 units currently wear them and that the possibility of overheating is a main concern.

Over the last five years, Dr. Uwe Reischl, a professor at Boise State University, has been researching ways to help cool off agriculture workers in the field. It’s his simple concept of heat ventilation that he says can also be applied to K-9s.

“Our major goal was to help farm workers in the field be able to reduce their heat stress by blocking the heat radiation, or the infrared radiation, from the sun,” said Reischl.

Reischl added that all you need are just a few simple household items. His prototype is just cardboard and plastic zip ties.

"Cardboard material has shown to be an extremely effective infrared blocker," said Reischl.

His prototype uses zip ties to separate the skin from the material, which allows for heat to escape.

According to his testing, Reischl said, “We have developed a strategy that allows us to reduce the heat stress of up to 60 percent.”

Reischl said something similar to his prototype, covered with ballistic material could help keep our K-9 officers safe.

“What we've done is demonstrate the concepts, right, and the concept works beautifully,” he said.

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