FAIRBANKS, Alaska Fairbanks Police dog Diesel is receiving a bullet and stab proof vest worth $2,000. The local police pup received this necessary protection thanks to community member Beth Frank, who is a volunteer with Vested Interest in K9's Incorporated. The vest was sponsored by the Aurora Vet Clinic.
Diesel, a 3 year old Dutch Shepherd, has been doing double duty at the station working on tracking, suspect apprehension and drug detection. Diesel's human partner Officer Robert Hall says that although Diesel is three years old, he still is young at heart.
"He's still a puppy, he's only about a three year old dog so he still has a lot of that puppy energy left in him." Said Hall.
Detective Hall has taken care of multiple police dogs and has enjoyed working with and training them. He believes the donation of the vest is extremely important for not only safety but also for the community.
“The biggest thing is one, you’ve got the safety of the dog but also the community support that it’s really showing, and it’s not exclusive to Alaska but nationwide people care about their police dogs and the support is huge”, quotes Hall.
He is optimistic for future expansion in the K9 department so that the program can be extended to 7 days a week.
"With community support I'm excited now we're hoping to grow this program a little bit more, not even a little bit more, double the program by adding a second police dog for the city of Fairbanks. --Just as Diesel was purchased through community support, we don't have the budget to buy one. We're hoping that the community will come together and support this program through donation for a new dog."
While not wearing his vest on his off duty time, Officer Diesel enjoys taking long walks and the occasional treat.
The program, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts whose goal it is to provide bullet and stab protective vests to every police dog in the United States. So far they have provided 3,400 vests to police dogs nationwide. Delivery of Diesel’s vest is expected in eight to ten weeks.