Thanks to an anonymous donor and Vested Interest in K9s Inc., a member of the Honolulu Police Department’s Canine Unit will receive an important piece of protective gear.
Hunter, a Belgian Malinois, will be the eighth HPD canine to be custom-fitted for a bullet- and stab-resistant vest. Hunter is two years old and joined the HPD in December 2014.
“These dogs are highly trained and are like members of our family. They face some of the same risks as officers, so protecting them is important for the community and the department,” said acting Maj. Darren Chun of the Specialized Service Division.
“They help us with barricaded situations, building searches, area searches, suspect apprehensions, and sometimes those situations require them to put on this protective gear so they can do their job safely,” said Sgt. Greg Obara. “They become part of our families. We’re partnered up with them 24/7. It’s your best partner, the best partner you could ask for.”
Sandy Marcal, president and founder of Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., said, “We’ve provided the Honolulu Police Department with seven protective vests over the years, and we’re excited that a donation has made it possible for Hunter to receive the eighth vest.”
Vested Interest in K9s Inc. is based in Massachusetts and matches donors with law enforcement agencies across the country to provide vests for law enforcement dogs that are certified and at least 19 months old.
To date, the nonprofit organization has arranged for the donation of more than 1,400 protective vests. Each vest is estimated to cost $1,000.