A member of a local police department is about to receive some much-needed protection.
Sergeant David Thompson has the unique opportunity to work alongside his buddy, Stitch.
Stitch, a german shepherd from Hungary, is a K9 for the Dumfries Police Department.
“He’s what we call a ‘cross-train dog,’” Thompson said. “He’s a patrol dog and he find narcotics.”
The canine, which will be 2 years old this fall, received three weeks of training.
But learning didn’t stop when K9 school ended.
“We constantly retrain … We train [on] something at least once a night … whether it’s track or whether it’s a drug search or a building search,” Thompson said. “It’s a continuous training effort between me with the dog, as well.”
Stitch will soon receive a vest that will protect him while he’s on the job.
“It’s going to be a bullet-proof vest and a stab vest, which is very important to protect the dogs,” Thompson said. “You know, their main purpose at night is to protect me, so anything we can to help protect Stitch at night.”
The vest is being donated by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. (VIK9s), which seeks to provide protection to dogs who work with law enforcement and other agencies.
Since it was established in 2009, the non-profit has donated about 3,000 vests to K9s nationwide.
“We’re super excited about getting the vest for Stitch,” Thompson said. “I think it’s a great opportunity, and I think it’s a great thing that this company does for K9s all over the country.”
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