A law enforcement officer tasked with carrying out some of Bethlehem Township's most dangerous assignments has received a generous donation.
Hugo, Bethlehem Township's K9 officer, has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
Hugo’s vest is embroidered with "In memory of K9 Ike, Vancouver Police Department, WA”.
Hugo is a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois-German shepherd mix and a donation himself – he trained with the U.S. Army Rangers at Fort Benning, Georgia, and deployed for six months to Afghanistan.
He became available for donation because of downsizing of the military K9 corps. Hugo’s specialty is explosives detection and is also trained for patrol duties such as tracking a missing person or suspect. Hugo is handled by Ptl. Bryan Tollinger.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 2,000 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 1.7 million dollars. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050.00. Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000-law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.