The Coral Gables Police Department’s K9 Roy, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois certified in patrol/apprehension and narcotics detection, soon will wear extra protection, thanks to a recent donation.
K9 Roy is set to receive a bullet and stab proof vest donated by the nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s Inc. and Wayne Stathers of Key Largo. Wayne is the son of fallen Coral Gables Police Officer Walter F. Stathers who was killed in the line of duty on Dec. 19, 1967. The vest will be embroidered with the sentiment “To honor the memory of Walter F. Stathers EOW 12/19/67.”
The mission of Vested Interest in K9s, a 501(c)(3) organization, is to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Through private and corporate sponsorships, this organization has provided more than 1,900 law enforcement dogs in 49 states with protective vests since 2009 at a cost of more than $1.7 million. Each vest costs $1,050 and has a five-year warranty.
K9 Roy was born in Holland and was paired with Coral Gables Police Officer Alex Engmann 10 days after his arrival into the United States at age 2. Assigned to Officer Engmann in October 2013, K9 Roy and his partner have completed more than 500 hours of formal training in order to become a certified Police K9 Team. On his off-time, K9 Roy enjoys being with Alex, playing with empty water bottles, and being a member of the Engmann family.
For more information about Vested Interest in K9s, visit the website at www.vik9s.org.