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Jango, a 2-year-old German shepherd, poses in his new police vest.

Pittsfield Officer Jango Receives Protective Vest

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Jango looking pretty sweet.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Police Department's K9 Jango has received his bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s Inc.
 
The vest was sponsored through funds raised at HeatherFest, an annual blues festival hosted by Heather McKibben in Norton. The nearly 25-year festival supports a number of charities, including Vested Interest in K9s. The vest is embroidered with the sentiment "Donated by HeatherFest in memory of Bill McKibben," McKibben's father who died last year.
 
Jango is a 2-year-old German shepherd who joined the Police Department in September 2017. He completed patrol and narcotic detection schools, and is currently working with his handler, Officer Nicholas Sondrini, on day shift. 
 
Vested Interest in K9s Inc. is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton whose mission is to provide protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies in obtaining this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest has provided more than 3,000 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $5.7 million.
 
The program is open to dogs actively employed with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
 
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950. Each vest has a value between $1,744 and $2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 pounds. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. To find out more about Vested Interest or make a donation: 508-824-6978, www.vik9s.org or P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.
 

Tags: K9,   Pittsfield Police,   

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Pittsfield School Committee Concerned With Teacher Retention

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The latest personnel report has the School Committee concerned about keeping teachers in the city schools. 
 
The reported was shared by Superintendent Jason McCandless at last Wednesday's meeting. School Committee member William Cameron noted that some of the exiting employees were only hired at the beginning of the school year.
 
"There was a group called Buffalo Springfield and they had a song called 'For What It's Worth' and the opening lines were 'There's something happening here, What it is ain't exactly clear,'" he said. "We have resignations here a month into the school year from a number of people that may have started at the beginning of the school year can you tell us what is going on here?"
 
McCandless said there are some retirees within the group of outgoing employees but there are also recent hires who found a better opportunity elsewhere or who were not up to some of the challenges the school district faces.  
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