Village Council approves purchase of police vests for reserve officers
By Jim Newell
A police dog will patrol the area in greater safety after members of North Oakland VFW Post 334 donated $1,000 to help purchase body armor for the K9 officer.
“(They) grew concerned over a recent increase in media reports of police dog fatalities and injuries in the line of duty. To help reduce the risk to a beloved K9 officer partner, the membership has donated $1,000 to purchase ballistic body armor for a dog that services the north Oakland County area,” said Lake Orion Police Chief Jerry Narsh.
VFW 334 Post Commander James Hubbard and Quartermaster Chuck Haskins presented the check to Narsh, leaving it up to him to determine the recipient of the funds.
“(The) LOPD has presented these lifesaving funds to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, K9 program. The OCSO maintains and provides highly-trained K9 services for search and rescue, drug and narcotic detection and other specialized police needs to all Oakland County police agencies that request their services. All of the dogs are trained in article searches, tracking, building searches, obedience and handler protection,” Narsh said.
“The Sheriff’s Office K9 units have been a tremendous asset and have assisted in many police K9 service requests in the Lake Orion and surrounding communities,” Narsh said. “We are happy to be able to assist them by providing lifesaving protection to our four-legged crime fighting partners. Thank you VFW Post 334 for your timely donation to the law enforcement community.”
At its meeting on Monday, the village council unanimously approved a $9,450 budget amendment to purchase 27 bullet proof vests for all Lake Orion police officers, fulltime and reserve, through the Oakland County Consortium bid program.
When Narsh first presented the purchase of police vests for certified officers to the council it was part of a contractual issue and was within the $10,000 budgeted amount.
“It was at that time that council asked the police department to go back and authorize purchase for our reserves, which I thanked you profusely then and I do now,” Narsh said. “Our reserve officers not only donate their time, but they buy all of their equipment and uniforms. Our reserves today are doing more than they did 10 years ago.”
The vests cost $18,900, but the police department has applied for a Justice Department 50 percent grant of $9,450 that would reimburse the department later this year.
“We have received all of the vests, and they have been issued to the officers,” Narsh said.