Businesses chip in for Mundelein police dog's body armor

  • Mundelein police officer Steve Kroll and Titan, after the dog joined the department last year. Titan soon will have protective armor, thanks to donations from local businesses and a nonprofit group.

      Mundelein police officer Steve Kroll and Titan, after the dog joined the department last year. Titan soon will have protective armor, thanks to donations from local businesses and a nonprofit group. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer 2015

 
 
Updated 1/29/2016 4:47 PM

Mundelein's police dog, Titan, soon will sport custom-made armor when he's on the job, thanks to donations from four local businesses.

PK Bennett Jewelers, Larsen Manufacturing, Hitz Pizza and Sports Bar and a local State Farm Insurance office chipped in to buy the gear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"This donation is yet another example of the incredible generosity of our community and is truly appreciated," said Eric Guenther, Mundelein's public safety director.

The armor Titan will wear is designed to resist bullets and edged weapons. It will protect the German shepherd's back, sides, underside and chest, officials said.

It is coming from a nonprofit group called Vested Interest in K9s. The Massachusetts organization has sent more than 1,700 protective vests to police dogs across the country since it was founded in 2009.

The group works with private and corporate sponsors to cover the $1,050 cost of canine armor, according to Mundelein police.

Rich Bennett, co-owner of PK Bennett Jewelers, organized the fundraising effort in Mundelein.

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"It's just something we as a business feel is important," said Bennett, a retired Kenilworth police detective and lifelong dog lover.

The sponsoring businesses won't be named on Titan's armor, but a message of community support will appear on the garment, Mayor Steve Lentz said.

The armor should arrive in about two months.

Titan joined the department last year. He's partnered with veteran officer Steve Kroll.

Titan primarily serves in a public relations role but is trained in drug detection, tracking and other law-enforcement skills.

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