Jul 27, 2014

Wilmington K9 Ridic Shows Off New Ballistics Vest

Wilmington Patrolman Eric Palmer and K9 Ridic stopped by Monday's selectmen meeting to show off the new K9 Storm Ballistic Vest.

Wilmington K9 Ridic Shows Off New Ballistics Vest

Wilmington selectmen met with a special member of the Wilmington Police Department at their Jan. 13 meeting--K9 Ridic. 

Wilmington Police Chief Michael Begonis and Patrolman Eric Palmer, who handles Ridic, gave a presentation to selectmen on a new bulletproof vest Ridic wears in the field. 

Palmer said the new K9 Storm Ballistic Vest is less burdensome to Ridic than the previous K9 vest used by the Wilmington Police Department.  

"The donated vest we had back in 2004, it's a lot heavier than the new vest," Palmer said. "It's kind of a one size fits all thing type of thing where you adjust it once you put it on him."

Palmer said it took the previous Wilmington K9, Kimo, time to adjust to the old vest and in some cases prevented him from working to his full ability.

"When you put it on him, it's almost immediate the change in the dog," Palmer said. "They will eventually work to the ability they're trained to, but it takes a lot of repetition and training because it's cumbersome, heavy and not fit to the dog. It moves around on the dog."

According to Palmer, the new vest was custom fit for the 3-year-old Ridic, allowing him to adjust to the vest almost immediately.

"This vest here was custom fit, they came out and fit him for it and then it was custom made for him," Palmer said. "As soon as I put this vest onto Ridic, within 15 minutes, it was like he never even had it on. A big, big difference."

The K9 Storm Ballistic Vest is made of almost the same material as the vests officers wear in the field, according to Palmer, and also is mounted with a K9 Intruder Camera which can help officers see what the dog sees in the field. 

Palmer took Ridic for a brief walk in the hallway of Wilmington Town Hall during the meeting, allowing each selectmen a chance to view the monitor that is linked to the camera on Ridic's vest. 

Selectmen Chariman Michael McCoy thanked Palmer and Ridic for their service with the Wilmington Police Department, but also for their community outreach.

"As much as the crime fighting Ridic and you do, there's the community outreach you do as well," McCoy said. "You're so generous with your time. It gives me as a resident more peace of mind knowing we have this resource and also that the dog will be safe out there."

Ridic graduated the Boston Police K9 Academy and joined the Wilmington Police Department in 2012 with certifications in patrol, apprehension and narcotics. 

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