Daughters honor dad with vests for police K-9s
Roseville — Corporal and Chase often go on dangerous missions where they have to help police officers detect bombs, find drugs and help catch suspects.
Those operations put the two Belgian Malinois shepherds at risk of being killed or assaulted in the line of duty, police say.
But through the help of two donors, Corporal and Chase will soon receive two ballistic vests designed to protect them from gunfire and knife attacks.
Sharon Peters and Patricia Settimo, daughters of retired Roseville Detective Lt. Richard Scott who is now deceased, said they partnered with the national nonprofit Vested Interest in K9s Inc. to donate the vests.
Scott was on the Roseville police force for 35 years, according to Settimo.
Vested Interest in K9s, based in East Taunton, Massachusetts, supplies bullet- and stab-resistant vests for police dogs through donations.
Peters and Settimo had a chance to meet Corporal and Chase at the Roseville Police Station on Tuesday. The two dogs haven’t received their vests yet as they take six to eight weeks to be designed and shipped, the sisters said.
Peters said she has donated vests to seven police dogs in Michigan since 2014.
“Yes, they have four paws but they are just as important as their two-legged handlers in these situations and they need protection,” said Peters of Gross Pointe Shores. “A lot of times the cities don’t have the extra funds for it and that’s when we need to step up and help them out.”
The five-pound vests are typically valued at about $2,300, but Peters said she pays $1,050 through Vested Interest in K9s. The two vests will honor Scott and have his name stitched on them.
Police Chief James Berlin said assaults on police officers and police dogs throughout the country have reached a record high. And while Roseville dogs have not been seriously injured, people have tried to harm them during police operations, he said.
The city was unable to afford vests for Corporal and Chase, he said.
“It’s a major investment for these dogs,” Berlin said. “We don’t want to see anything happen to them.”
Settimo of Williamsburg, Virginia, said this was her first police dog vest donation in Michigan.
“The dogs are the first thing that goes after a lot of these criminals,” she said. “They will send the dog in prior to police sometimes. And they (police departments) have been losing a lot of dogs.”