DEARBORN HEIGHTS — The Dearborn Heights Police Department’s K-9 partner, Twix, will soon be receiving a donated bullet and stab protective vest.
Twix and his handler, Officer Mohamad Chami, have been partners since April 7, 2019 when Twix joined the department. Chami has been with the department for a little over four years after serving with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department for more than 20 years.
“It feels amazing that my K-9, Twix, is receiving a ballistic vest,” Chami said. “The feeling of my partner, Twix, wearing a vest completes us as partners.”
The vest is being provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and will be a custom-fitted vest delivered in approximately four to six weeks. The vest was sponsored by Livonia resident Diane Olszewski and will be embroidered with the sentiment, “In memory of Linda Olszewski-Gonzalez”, who died in September.
“The citizens of Dearborn Heights along with the women and men of the Dearborn Heights Police Department are eternally grateful for the generous gift of a protective vest for our K-9, Twix,” Dearborn Heights Police Chief Jerrod Hart said. “Officer Chami and Twix are excellent ambassadors for our police department, but also engage in hazardous work on behalf of our community. We will all rest easier knowing Twix, like his handler Officer Chami, has an extra layer of protection courtesy of Vested Interest in K9s and the generosity of the Linda Olszewski-Gonzalez family.”
Chami said Twix himself is excited to be getting a vest.
“When I asked Twix how he felt about receiving a vest, his reply was that it feels amazing,” he said. “I would like the community to know that me and Twix have a special bond. We both care about the community and train on a weekly basis to keep up with his training. K9 Twix is not only here to search for people or find things, the community loves him when they see him. The kids at school enjoy him, the people in the community enjoy him. He’s a great positive tool for the department and the community to have.”
Established in 2009, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) charity that provides American-made vests and other resources to police and law enforcement dogs nationwide and is open to dogs at least 20-months-old and actively employed with certified law enforcement and related agencies. K-9s with expired vests are also eligible.
Since being founded, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., has provided more than 4,500 vests to K-9s nationwide valued at nearly $7 million, 2,300 K-9 opioid reversal NARCAN kits, more than $96,000 worth of K-9 medical first aid kits and in excess of $228,000 in K-9 medical insurance premiums through its Healthcare for K9 Heroes program.
A single donation of $960 sponsors one vest and each vest has a value of $1,744 to $2,283, weighs four to five pounds and has a five-year warranty.
“We appreciate Linda Olszewski-Gonzalez’s family, who donated the vest to our police K-9 Twix,” Mayor Bill Bazzi said. “Twix is an integral part of our police force and puts his life on the line to protect our officers and our residents.”
More information about Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. can be found at www.vik9s.org.