PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office was recently gifted brand-new tactical headgear for patrol K9 “Valk,” which it says will protect the K9 officer’s head and eyes while she’s tracking suspects through brushy areas.
The helmet and goggles can also protect Valk in “combat situations,” according to the manufacturer K9 Helm Corp.
Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Sam Elliott told KOIN 6 News that the K9 Helm “CS-1 GoggleHelm” gear was donated to the YCSO by Eagle Creek residents Sandee Horton-Keet and Bobby Keet on Oct. 6. Elliott said that Valk has trained with the helmet. However, she hasn’t had the opportunity to wear the equipment in the field.
“So far it has been flawless,” Elliott said. “We have not yet tried mounting a GoPro to the helmet, which is an option. She doesn’t seem to mind wearing it at all. The handler speculates that, because it doesn’t cover her muzzle, she really doesn’t seem to be bothered by it.”
Valk is currently the YCSO’s only patrol K9, so no other dogs are currently training with the helmet. However, Elliott said that the YCSO would “absolutely” share the protective K9 gear with other local agencies if needed.
K9 Valk joined the YCSO in April of 2023. The 22-month-old shepherd was imported from the Czech Republic before completing her certification with the Oregon Police Canine Association.