They knock on doors of vacant homes, deal with marijuana cultivation and encounter all sorts of dicey situations, now Sacramento County Code Enforcement officers are working with an extra level of protection.

Officers are now required to bulletproof vests.

"It's primarily for officer safety. Our officers come into contact with the same same amount of people, that oftentimes, sheriff's deputies do," Code Enforcement Officer Jose Mendez said. 

Mendez says the rule change comes in the wake of a incident nearly two years ago when an Animal Control Officer was killed in the line of duty.

"Mr. Malcom was shot through the door of what he thought was a vacant home, held captive for a period of time, and died as a result of the gunshot wounds," Mendez said. 

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals then paid to get vests for animal control officers.  

Since then, Sacramento County has spent about $750 a vest for each of its 27 code enforcement officers.