HEAT ALERT

Heat advisory continues in New Jersey as highs approach near 100 degrees

Friends of Solo Foundation fights to keep police K-9s safe

Friends of Solo Foundation has vowed to help police K-9s stay safe one bulletproof vest at a time, and it all dates to an unfortunate beginning 24 years.

News 12 Staff

Jul 30, 2022, 2:18 AM

Updated 692 days ago

Share:

A New Jersey-based organization is doing its part to help to keep police K-9s safe.
Friends of Solo Foundation has vowed to help police K-9s stay safe one bulletproof vest at a time, and it all dates to an unfortunate beginning 24 years.
“In 1998, I was reading a magazine article about a K-9 who was killed in the line of duty in Bradley Beach, New Jersey,” said James Wiater, founder of Friends of Solo Foundation.
The dog from the article Wiater read was K-9 Solo from the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office. During a police standoff, Solo was sent into an apartment building where a perp had barricaded himself for nearly a day. Solo never made it out.
“At the time when it happened, I promised myself that one day I would like to buy a vest for a K-9,” added Wiater.
In 2016, Wiater wrote a children's book starring a dog named “Solo” and within seven months of publishing, the organization Friends of Solo was able to purchase and donate its first ballistic vest and that vest went to a K-9 from the Monmouth County's Sheriff's Office.
K-9 ballistic vests can cost anywhere from $1,400 to $3,400. Since that first vest donation, Friends of Solo has donated 16 additional vests and 25 trauma kits to departments throughout New Jersey and other states.
The organization is gearing up to donate its 18th vest that'll go to K-9 Robby of the Bradley Beach Police Department. The 3-year-old shepherd mix has been working with his partner, officer Anthony Badalamenti, since last year.
Robby is the last K-9 in his department to get a vest and will be presented with a ballistic vest of his own Tuesday.


More from News 12