Millstone Township author supports county K-9 unit

Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden has accepted the donation of a new bulletproof vest provided to the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit by children’s book author James Wiater of Millstone Township.

Wiater is the author of “The Adventures of Solo, The Big Dog” and he named the book after K-9 Solo in the dog’s memory, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

Solo, a German shepherd, was a member of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit. Solo was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1998 during the attempted apprehension of a wanted individual. The purchase of the bulletproof vest will be used by K-9 Edge, who is trained in narcotics/patrol, according to the press release.

“The sheriff’s office is grateful to Mr. Wiater for his generosity and dedication to enhancing the safety of our K-9s,” Golden said. “Members of our K-9 Unit are called upon year-round to assist local police departments with narcotics detection, explosive detection and criminal or missing person searches and it is crucial they are protected while maintaining public safety.”

The sheriff’s office was the first law enforcement agency to receive a vest from the proceeds of the book, which is about a police dog’s adventures. Wiater plans to donate additional vests to other law enforcement agencies in the future. The cost for the vest was $2,600, according to the press release.

“Police dogs risk their lives every day and K-9 Solo died while protecting the public,” Wiater said. “I am dedicated to giving something back. It not only shows my appreciation to law enforcement, but at the same time it educates children on how these dogs serve the public.”

The sheriff’s office K-9 Unit presently consists of seven handlers and eight K-9s. The unit includes two explosive/patrol teams, three narcotics/patrol teams, one explosive team, one tracking team and one narcotics team.

In 2016, the K-9 Unit was called out on 144 explosive detection calls, 342 tracking calls and 318 narcotics calls. The dogs and their handlers conducted more than 150 K-9 demonstrations, according to the press release.