GLOCESTER – He’s been on the job for the past six months, visiting schools and helping out at crimes scenes.
And now, Glocester Police Department’s K-9 Tate in donning some brand new garb that will not only protect him from potential hazards of the job, but also honor the memory of another late four-legged officer who served his community well in his time on the force.
Tate received a bullet- and stab-protective vest this month from the nonprofit Vested Interest in K9s Inc., a charity with a mission of providing assistance to law enforcement dogs across the country. The custom-fitted lifesaving body armor is valued at around $2,000 – and the Glocester K-9’s version came embroidered with a special message: In memory of K9 Buddy, Palmer, MA, EOW 4/1/22.
The message honors the late K-9 Buddy, a German Shepherd who served the Palmer Police Department for six distinguished years. The beloved law enforcement dog not only kept narcotics off the street, he helped with demonstrations, school searches and crowd control, and was even credited with helping to save a life in 2015. Buddy received numerous recognitions for locating missing persons during his time with Palmer PD, including his part in a 2019 rescue of two children.
Buddy died this past April following a long battle with cancer.
Tate, a black lab who came to Glocester last November at just 15-months-old, completed his training with the Rhode Island K-9 Academy Inc. in December, and was certified in narcotics detection and tracking. Serving with his handler, Officer Andrew Uriati, Tate is also working in community relations and emotional support, with visits to schools and town events.
Through private and corporate donations since its inception, Vested Interest has provided more than 4,682 vests to K-9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million. The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20-months-old, and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. K-9s with expired vests are also eligible to participate.
The organization accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, while a single donation of $960 will sponsor one vest. Each vest weighs an average of 4-5 pounds, and comes with a five-year warranty.
For more information, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 508-824-6978.