The Monroe Police Department said K-9 Murphy’s protective vest arrived earlier this week.
Murphy has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., and manufacturer Armor Express, as part of the incentive program for which one free vest is awarded for every 15 vests purchased by the charity. Vests were donated to K9s in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.
The police had learned that Murphy would receiving the vest in November 2015.
Murphy’s handler, Officer John McAulay, said he’s very excited about the new vest.
“This is good news,” he said.
McAulay said that until now Murphy had been using a hand-me-down vest that’s roughly 14 years old and that the vest didn’t fit Murphy very well.
McAulay said that the new vest will fit Murphy better and will keep him “as safe as possible” when Murphy is put to work in the field.
Murphy is currently 3-years-old and is the department’s only K-9, as K-9 Gunner retired last month.
Protective K-9 vests have a five-year warranty, and each vest costs between $1,795 and $2,234.
McAulay said he received the vest for Murphy after he sent a grant application to Vested Interests in K9’s Inc.
He also said that as part of the application he had to tell the nonprofit all about Murphy, including his dislike of lawn mowers.
McAulay said he was surprised how quickly he heard back from Vested Interests in K9’s Inc. The organization responded to his application in less than three weeks.
“This is awesome for us,” he said.
As a K-9, Murphy is a working dog certified in basic obedience, tracking, evidence recovery, narcotics detection, biting and aggression, and apprehension.
Despite Murphy’s many skills, McAulay admitted that Murphy still hasn’t mastered “give me paw.”
McAulay said that because Murphy is a working dog he has to be treated as such.
“People always want to pet him, and they can’t,” he said. “I always tell people, would you walk up to a regular cop on the street and pet him on the head? No. It’s the same thing — cops don’t like to be touched while we’re at work.”