HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By: Melanie Yamaguchi
The Honolulu Police Department was presented with a new bullet resistant vest Tuesday for Marco, the department's Belgian Malinois dual purpose and explosive detection canine.
"Vests are really important," Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha said. "Everyday we mandate that our police officers who go out and patrol or special duty out in the public, that they put on their bullet resistant vests, as well as canines."
The ballistic and stab protective vest was donated to HPD by Massachusetts resident Janice Wright for Vested Interest in K-9s Inc., a non-profit organization that provides protective vests for law enforcement canines across the nation. Wright raised more than $1,000 for the vest through her business, Silpada Jewelry.
"I always knew I'd raise dogs," she said. "I always knew they served a bigger purpose and then when this came up, being able to fundraise and be a part of taking care of a dog, it's an honor to do it."
Marco is the third HPD canine to receive a protective vest. HPD currently has 11 working canines.
"They go where our police officers cannot go," Kealoha said. "They run into the dangers that ordinarily we wouldn't go into and they are not just canine, they're not just animals. They're part of our HPD ohana."