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Grand Haven K-9 officer to get body armor

• Aug 12, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Grand Haven Department of Public Safety K-9 ReMax will receive a bullet- and stab-protective vest, thanks to a charitable donation from the non-profit Vested Interest in K9s Inc. 

It will be embroidered with the sentiment, “In memory of K-9 Rocco, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.”

Delivery is expected in 8-10 weeks. 

Originally established in 1997, Grand Haven’s K-9 Unit was eliminated in 2010 due to budget constraints. However, a successful fundraising campaign in 2014 allowed for the purchase and initial training for a new K-9, called ReMax.

“Max has been instrumental in solving cases, locating illegal drugs, and building a bridge between the department and community,” Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke said. 

As a team, Max and Grand Haven officer Justin Canan are called on to search buildings, track suspects and respond to narcotics calls.

“Max is trained as a narcotics detection dog, capable of sniffing out illegal drugs,” Canan said. “Max is also trained in obedience, tracking, handler protection, building searches, locating weapons and evidence.”

Canan and Max are also called on to conduct demonstrations for special events such as the department’s Fire Prevention Week Open House and at school events as part of the GHDPS Teaching, Educating and Mentoring program. 

The mission of Vested Interest in K9s Inc. of East Taunton, Massachusetts, is to provide protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the country. Since its inception, Vested Interest has provided more than 2,600 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of about $2.1 million. 

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