Canine officer needs protective vests

Mac and Linda Braid’s love of dogs inspired them to initiate a drive to raise money for a ballistics vest and a cooling vest for Glock, Montevallo’s K-9 police officer.

“He deserves protection — after all, he is a police officer.”

Glock will be a star of Montevallo’s Arts Fest on Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. in Orr Park. The plan is the result of the cooperation of the Braids, the Montevallo Arts Council and Glock’s partner, Officer Chad Lovelady. Contributions for the protective vests may be made during that event.

“Glock is great – he’s my partner,” said Lovelady. “(He) works every day. He knows when to be serious and protective and when to be playful and sociable. I was just ecstatic that the arts council and the Braids wanted to do this.”

Throughout the day at the park, Glock and Lovelady will demonstrate the dog’s ability to discover hidden drugs and to track and subdue suspected criminals. There will be clay paw-prints for the children and photos available.

Lovelady explained that a cooling vest is especially important for canine officers because they can easily become overheated and susceptible to heat stroke during training or in pursuit of a suspect. This summer Lovelady and Glock will be doing some strenuous training with an expensive bite suit donated by Nestle-Purina. The cost of the cooling vest is estimated at more than $150.

The ballistics vest is much like that worn by other officers and is knife and bullet resistant. For the same reasons it is important for regular officers it is important for canine officers. It will cost about $900.

Glock is a sable German shepherd. Today, at 18 months, he weighs 85 pounds, but Lovelady said when he is full-grown he will weigh more like 110. Lovelady has only praise for his partner. His pride shows not only in his words, but in his face – only smiles there when he talks about Glock.

Contributions for the vests may be made at the park or mailed to the arts council at P. O. Box 162, Montevallo, AL. 35115. Checks should be made to the Montevallo Arts Council and noted for Glock’s vests.

Catherine Legg can be reached at clegg2@bellsouth.net.