A Maine police dog has some extra protection in the field thanks to a Massachusetts non-profit and a Maine woman's generosity.
Dutch, a Maine State Police K-9, has been sporting a sharp new bullet- and stab-proof vest for over a month.
The 21-month-old Dutch shepherd puppy is trained for patrol and drug enforcement work and has already been out on multiple calls.
"A lot of times now, he's the first line of defense," said trooper Zachary Fancy, Dutch's handler. "He likes it … The dogs only know one thing, and that's to work."
But Dutch's workwear is unique.
The camouflage vest, made by Vested Interest in K9s of East Taunton, Massachusetts, has a special embroidery in memory of Maine State Police Det. Ben Campbell.
In April 2019, Campbell stopped to help a disabled motorist on I-95 near Bangor.
While he was outside his cruiser, a wheel from a passing tractor-trailer flew off, striking and killing Campbell in a freak accident.
Dutch's vest was donated in his in honor by a Sorrento, Maine, woman who has given thousands of dollars to help K-9s stay safe.
"It means a tremendous amount to be able to carry his name," said Fancy. "Anytime I put that vest on, I see that name and it reminds me of Ben and the sacrifice he made as well as his family."
Though Dutch has completed his initial training, Fancy says his personality is still developing.
So far, however, he's found Dutch loves people and will still allow admirers to pet him.