MURRIETA: City’s K-9 “Pak” receives donation of custom-fitted body armor
MURRIETA — Thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous donor and a non-profit organization, Murrieta Police Department’s K-9 “Pak” recently received a bullet and stab resistant vest to better protect the police service dog during his duties.
Pak’s new vest was custom-made specifically for him and embroidered with the sentiment, “Born to love – Trained to serve – Loyal Always,” according to Murrieta Police Lt. Jon Flavin.
The vest, which weighs about four to five pounds according to the manufacturer, was provided to Pak by the Maine-based, non-profit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
According to City officials, Pak is a 6-year-old, Belgian Malinois and was born in Germany where he received his initial training and certification in patrol and tracking.
With a Schutzhund IPO-3 ranking which certifies him at an advanced level of obedience, tracking & protection – Pak uses Czech commands and is assigned to Murrieta PD K-9 handler Officer Huss.
Huss and Pak began training together in April 2017 and together the duo hit the streets after attending Basic Patrol Academy together.
Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234 and come with a five-year warranty. “The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050,” Flavin explained. Murrieta Police Department’s K-9 Unit consists of four police service dogs and Pak is the last of the Department’s K-9’s to be awarded a vest from Vested Interest in K9’s.
The vests come in police, sheriff and military colors and have a variety of features specific to law enforcement needs; including belly, side and chest coverage; a handle at the top for crowd control and pulling the dogs out of harm’s way; dual D-rings for short or long leads; and adjustable buckles for the best fit possible. They also feature breathable, Dri-Lex mesh for better comfort in hot climates.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity whose mission is to provide bullet and stab resistant vests and other assistance to law enforcement police service dogs and their related agencies throughout the United States.
Established in 2009, the non-profit organization was established to help provide law enforcement agencies with these potentially lifesaving vests for their K-9 partners.
Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided more than 2,600 protective vests through private and corporate donations.
At a cost of over 2.1 million dollars, the organization’s K-9 body armor have been provided to law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. The program is open to dogs that are actively employed with any U.S. law enforcement or related agencies.
To qualify, the dogs must be certified as police service dogs and be at least 20-months-old. New K-9 graduates, as well as K-9s with expired vests, are also eligible to participate in the non-profit program.
The organization provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination.
For more information about donating a vest to an area K-9 or law enforcement agency or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call (508) 824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. can also be contacted at www.vik9s.org or by mail at P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.
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Trevor Montgomery, who recently moved from Riverside County to Shasta County, runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident.
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 grandchildren.