Suffolk Co. Police Dog Gets a Bullet-Proof Vest

The words “cute” and “lifesaving body armor” rarely go together. But last Friday, K-9 Bob, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois with the Suffolk County Sherriff’s Office, received a ballistic vest thanks to a non-profit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

The vest was paid for with a $950 donation made to the non-profit by the Romano Family in memory of William F. Romano, a decorated Detective and member of New York City Police Department Elite Crime Scene Unit.

Founded in 2009, the East Taunton, Massachusetts-based Vested Interest provides bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs in law enforcement. It is funded through private and corporate donations, and it has provided over 930 law enforcement dogs in 39 states with protective gear at a cost of $880,000.

According to Chief of Staff Michael P. Sharkey, K9 Bob is a dual-purpose drug and search-and-rescue dog, who can track down both suspects and missing persons. His new vest comes from Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, MA, which also did the custom embroidery on it. 


Lyn Dimon April 23, 2014 at 09:59 AM
The dog is an important 'employee' of the police dept. and should automatically be GIVEN a vest like any other officer. Donations should not be required for life saving equipment. After all, how much did the County invest in training this dog? It can't provide a vest? SHAMEFUL Suffolk County.
Richie P. April 23, 2014 at 03:37 PM
So, a K-9 vest costs $950? That's like 5x the amount of a normal bulletproof vest from Galls!
Lyn Dimon April 23, 2014 at 05:05 PM
To Richie P.'s comment: Apparently, Regency Police Supply has body armor ranging in price from 650 to 1800 and that is a product that is MASS MADE. I'm sure the dog's vest had to be custom made to fit his size and breed requirements. You are very naive if you think comparing a product sold by Galls to millions vs. a custom made to order vest is the same. Its like comparing a rack suit at the department store to one made in Italy by a revered designer.
cbg April 24, 2014 at 12:03 PM
Worth every penny. They should all be protected.
Sheila Romano-Pascale April 27, 2014 at 01:21 PM
Lyn, you are correct, the vest was custom made to fit K9 Bob. Also, we (the family of Detective William Romano) had our brother's name embroidered in the vest "in memory of" so that might have added to the cost. We feel it was something our brother would have loved. It was our honor to have the Sheriff's Department accept the vest in our brother's memory.


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