by Joni Astrup
Elk River’s police dog has new body armor, thanks to an Isanti County couple.
Karla and Pat Reinhart donated the body armor for K-9 Zeus. The vest is ballistic- and stab-resistant.
“Just like human police officers, canines face the same dangers day in and day out — sometimes even greater danger because they’re often the first ones into a suspected hazard,” Elk River Police Chief Brad Rolfe said.
But until now, Zeus has been lacking properly fitting body armor.
Elk River has had four police dogs in the department’s history and Zeus is the smallest of the four.
“The hand-me-down and old body armor that he had was significantly too large for him,” Rolfe said.
When the Reinharts became aware of the situation, they purchased the proper body armor for the dog and donated it to the Elk River Police Department.
The Reinharts, who raise and show border collies, were recognized during the Feb. 6 Elk River City Council meeting.
Zeus was also there, modeling his new body armor, which cost more than $1,000.
The Reinharts were recognized with a certificate of appreciation from the police department and a resolution acknowledging their contribution from the City Council.
Rolfe and Mayor John Dietz thanked the Reinharts and the mayor shook Zeus’ paw.
Zeus’ partner is Officer Adam Bebeau.
•Zeus is a 4-year-old German Shepherd/ Belgian Malinois mix, imported from the Czech Republic.
•He was trained by Mike Goodwin, a retired Anoka Police Department K-9 handler and longtime police K-9 trainer. •Zeus joined the Elk River Police Department on May 1, 2008. The dog is cross trained in scent work/apprehension as well as narcotics detection.
•Zeus is the fourth K-9 the department has used. Previous K-9 partners were: Officer Ron Nierenhausen and Baron; Officer Dave Dummer and Billy; and Officer Brian Boos and Bravo
Source: Elk River Police Department