Behind the Badge: Police K9s

June 24, 2022 Written by: Willie Vernon

There's no greater honor than knowing your products are protecting those who protect all of us. When a department or individual officer chooses to outfit their K9 with Rex Specs Goggles or Ear Pro, it's something we don't take lightly.

To share why officers turn to Rex Specs products, we caught up with two of the most bada$$ dogs on the planet and their equally hardcore handlers.

Mark & Mattis

Sgt Mark Tappan and K9 Mattis

First up are Sgt. Mark Tappan and Mattis, a magnetic duo who found their way into the hearts of the nation during their time on America's Top Dog and who continue to inspire and entertain via their Instagram and TikTok presence.

Q: Why did you initially become interested in Rex Specs?

A: A couple of reasons, I saw other dogs using them and obviously they look amazing. But, every time I went tracking at night I was getting tagged in the face with branches and poked in the eye. I knew my dog must have the same thing happening and wanted to do something to make sure that his eyes were protected while he tracked.

Q: What did Mattis do as a K9 on the police force?

A: Mattis was a multi-purpose canine. He did narcotics detection, article search, tracking, protection and apprehension.

Q: How did Rex Specs benefit Mattis while on duty?

A: Like I said above, protected his eyes and made him look cool!

Q: Have there been any times where Rex Specs helped Mattis avoid an injury while on duty?

A: It is hard to say since he’s never had an eye injury, but I know at the same time he and I have worked, I have a scar underneath my eye and a scratched cornea. So if I had Rex Specs it would’ve kept those from happening.

Q: Why would you recommend Rex Specs to others?

A: If anyone handling the dog is interested in protecting them so they can better perform their duties, I would highly recommend Rex Specs. And also they look cool!


Tyler & Arlo

Police K9 Arlo

Next up are Tyler and K9 Purple Heart Recipient, Arlo. After his retirement, Arlo can now be found racing the Seattle Seahawk's mascot, spreading awareness for K9 charitable organizations, and in general enjoying life as good boy. Check out his Instagram and TikTok for more.

Working Questions (@officialk9arlo):

Q: Why did you initially become interested in Rex Specs?

A: Everyone has seen Rex Specs if they follow any dog account. Once me and Arlo became a K9 team, Rex Specs were issued to us. I put them on Arlo and since day 1 he loved wearing them. We used them for many reasons including eye safety and also training during the daylight hours. We could use the tinted lenses to make sure he was using the snout instead of his eyes!

Q: What did K9 Arlo do as a K9 on the police force?

A: Arlo was an apprehension K9. He did so much more including tracking, building searches, area searches, evidence searches, etc (Patrol K9)

Q: How did Rex Specs benefit Arlo while on duty?

A: Rex Specs made sure Arlo kept his eyes safe during any wood tracks. I didn't have to worry about any branches or thorn bushes whacking him in the eyes. They also benefited us during training. We want our K9s to be confident in using their nose! So when it was daylight, I could throw them on with a dark tint and make sure he isn't using his eyes! K9s like to cheat!

Q: Have there been any times where Rex Specs helped Arlo avoid an injury while on duty?

A: Most definitely. We worked for a sheriff's office. Which means most of our tracks were in the woods with thorn bushes and random branches. I know there were a lot of times that he could have really hurt an eyeball if he wasn't wearing his Rex Specs!

Q: Why would you recommend Rex Specs to others?

A: It may take a bit for a dog to get used to wearing goggles but once they do they will love them. Arlo loves his goggles and when wearing them, he looks pretty rad! We go to a lot of events and he’s always wearing them, he gets a lot of smiles and others come over to say hi! We recommend any K9 team or family dog to get a pair!

Q: What is the craziest story you have from Arlo’s time on the force?

A: There are so many but it has to be our first track ever! It was our first shift on duty after certifying as a K9 Team. We got called for an incident and the suspect had fled on foot into the woods. We were brand new and nervous. You've done it so many times in training but never in real life. We tracked for almost an hour, both of us tired and wanting to give up! We didn't give up and kept going. We knew if we didn't find the suspect now, that the victim could be in danger. About 15 minutes later we found the suspect hiding behind a tree. K9 Arlo gave a few big barks and the suspect gave up and was arrested. Without Arlo, that suspect could have stayed hiding until we left and went back to the victims home. It was a great feeling telling the victim that we caught the suspect and she could rest easily tonight. It really shows you that all those hours training WITH your K9 really worked.

Thanks to Mark and Tyler for sharing their experiences! If you have questions about Rex Specs Goggles or Ear Pro, contact our incredible Customer Service team at .

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