FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
Roseann Trezza, Executive Director
March 7, 2006
Dover Township K-9s to Receive Life-Protecting Vests
DOVER TOWNSHIP – Like their human handlers, their job is to protect and to serve. Now, thanks to some generous donations the dogs in this Ocean County police department’s K-9 Squad will have protection as well.
Associated Humane Societies, through its Vested Interest program, will donate two bullet and knifeproof vests to the Dover Police Department K-9 Squad at a special ceremony, 3 p.m., March 15 at police headquarters, 255 Oak Avenue. The Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls and the Dover Township Police Vest Fund are also donating funds to purchase four more vests for the six-member unit through the Vested Interest program.
Now, when any of the six are patrolling with their handlers – Simba with Patrolman Keith Diehl, Clancy with Patrolman Patrick Dellane, Diesel with Corporal Lawrence Clayton, Maximus with Patrolman Ryan Maloney, Thunder with Sgt. James Reilly, and Cletus with Patrolman Art Pennell – they will be clad in a five-pound adjustable vest designed by International Armor, a leading body armor manufacture for over 20 years. The vests are designed to protect from bullets and stabbings.
“These dogs are beyond their weight in gold,” said Lt. Steven Henry of Dover Police Special Operations Division. “They come to work and they work hard, whether its crowd control or narcotics detection or any other thing. But the most important aspect of their job is protecting the officers. It’s great we can now protect them while they protect us.”
Since 1998, some 850 police dogs have received protection through the AHS Vested Interest program. The ultimate goal is to provide a vest for every police dog that graduates the academy. Unfortunately, the dramatic cost increase for the vests, coupled with a decline in donations to the program is making this goal much more challenging.
“We are overjoyed to help shield these loyal, intelligent public servants who unwittingly risk their lives everyday to protect our safety and well-being,” said AHS Executive Director Roseann Trezza. “If people truly understood the service these dogs provide, I believe our funding would never dwindle.”
A majority of the support for the program comes from school groups, civic groups and private citizens. Oftentimes, local K-9 Unit handlers will give demonstrations at meetings or school assemblies in partnership with Vested Interest fundraising activities. Organizations are encouraged to learn more about Vested Interest by contacting program coordinator Debbie Beyfuss at 973-824-7080.
Note to Reporters/Editors: Reporters and photographers are invited to attend this ceremony for publication.