“That’s a good boy, that’s a good boy,” said Dixon Police Officer Ryan McWethy after K-9 Hery found hidden cannabis during a training exercise McWethy showed to Eyewitness News.
Hery is Dixon’s most loyal and only four legged police officer. “He’s five years old right now, he doesn’t really act five, he’s still a playful puppy,” said McWethy. Hery’s been on the force since 2014 and has worked along side McWethy the whole time.
“Honestly I don’t have to do a whole lot, he does all the work for me,” he said. “He’s designated as a locating tool, not as a less lethal option,” McWethy explained. “So he’s for finding drugs, he can find people, he can find articles, and he can track people,” he added.
Hery’s job will soon become a little safer thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit ‘Vested Interest in K-9’s’. Hery will soon have body armor to protect him while assisting officers on crime scenes.
“It’s nice to know that you have people out there supporting us, supporting the k-9’s,” said McWethy. “Looking out for them because the programs, there’s not as many of them out there as there used to be,” he added. Hery’s new armor can stop most bullets and knives.
“It would be more for high risk situations so if you have some type of building search, a barricaded subject, somebody that is possibly armed,” he said. “You can put it on him and that way if the dog has to be deployed he has protection on his own,” McWethy added.
He says the vest also will give him some peace of mind knowing his partner is better protected.”He’s with me 12 hours a day for shifts and at home, you obviously build a bond with the dog,” McWethy said. “You’re partners, you’re friends, so it’s nice to know in a more dangerous situation he’s going to have more protection,” he added.
Hery is expected to have his armor in the next six to seven weeks.