POLICE dogs at the front line of keeping law and order on West Yorkshire's streets are being equipped with body armour.
The protection is being given to animals in a rapid response team called the Chief's Reserve.
New kit is also being handed to the unit's officers.
And horses have not been forgotten - with leg protectors to supplement their knee pads.
West Yorkshire Police is the first force in Britain to commission canine body armour.
Dog handler Pc Mark Lawman said: "This body armour protects my dog Zeus's backbone and all his vital organs and is also flame resistant.
"I have had several dogs hit at football matches in the past, so I am happy that he is protected now."
The Chief's Reserve, born out of the Bradford riots in 2001, is reinforced at key periods of the year, such as Bonfire Night, to cope with any unrest.
As well as quelling public disorder, officers also target crime hotspots and assist with major investigations and searches.
Officers' kit now includes flame-retardant overalls and leg and shoulder pads.
A fleet of 10 armoured Land Rovers bought from Northern Ireland is available for their use.
Chief Supt Derek Bonnard, operations support divisional commander, said: "One of the lessons we learned from the Bradford riots was to improve our kit and capability.
"We have trialled a lot of high-tech, up-to-date kit which, along with extra training and staff, has increased our ability to respond.
"We are more able to contain disorder and have experienced two summers without serious problems."
In the last year, the Chief's Reserve has made more than 1,600 arrests.
Its officers and animals in the unit are based at West Yorkshire police headquarters in Carr Gate, Wakefield.
PC Jo Binns, of the Chief's Reserve, said: "I feel a lot safer now the new kit has been designed based around the specifications that we asked for."