New Shoreham Police Department K9 Marcus has received a ballistic vest
The New Shoreham Police Department K9 Marcus has received a ballistic vest thanks to a non-profit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., and a Massachusetts resident, Sarah Diehl. Ms. Diehl donated to the nonprofit to cover the cost of New Shoreham Police Department K9 Marcus, and Central Falls Police Department’s K9 Axel bullet and stab-protective vests. Both vests will be embroidered with “In Loving Memory of Dr. Jed Diehl, VMD”. Dr. Jonathan “Jed” Diehl was co-founder of Winchester Veterinary Group, Winchester, MA. Dr. Diehl practiced there for over 20 years.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab-protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 1,900 protective vests, in 49 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over $1.7 million. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.
The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050. Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call (508) 824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.
Sgt. DeMatteo and K9 Marcus were partnered in March of 2014 through the Rhode Island K9 Academy, run by retired state trooper Roger Riorden, in West Greenwich, RI. After an 18 week training period, the team was certified in patrol, tracking, article search, scent detection, criminal apprehension, and narcotics in June of 2014. K9 Marcus lives full time with Sgt. DeMatteo and works a full schedule at the NSPD. The team travels to the mainland twice a month for in-service training with the R.I. State Police. You may see the team at the ferry dock as the ferries arrive, or you may see the NSPD Police Dog truck that the team patrols the island in — either way, always ask before approaching the dog, or the truck, to see K9 Marcus.
All of the funding for K9 Marcus, including purchasing the dog, all training, vet bills, insurance, food and more has come from private donations. Sgt. DeMatteo cannot thank the donors enough for their generous contributions to the department.
Sgt. DeMatteo plans to hold a K9 training demo in the weeks to come, where the public will be invited to watch K9 Marcus demonstrate his training abilities. Keep an eye on the New Shoreham Police Dept.’s Facebook page for information about this event. It will also be posted in The Block Island Times.
Donations to the NSPD K9 Marcus can be made to the Block Island Residents Association (BIRA) c/o Canine Program PO Box 456 Block Island, RI 02807.