Christmas comes early for Waldo County Sheriff K-9 officer

BELFAST, Maine (WABI) - The only K-9 cop in Waldo County is feeling more secure.

Frankie received a new bulletproof vest in Belfast Wednesday.

"He's with me every day and he's part of the family."

Detective Sergeant Merl Reed and K-9 Frankie are true partners in crime.

They have been working alongside each other for the Waldo County Sheriff's Office for a few years now.

"We've bonded since the first time we got introduced," said Reed.

Now, Christmas is coming early for Frankie, the K-9 trained in multiple area, including narcotics.

On Wednesday, he received a ballistics vest with the help of the community and a local pet grooming shop.

"It's great to have a community and a business come together and to be able to put funds together to get Frankie this vest.

"People were excited to help Frankie."

Kamrie Hodgeman is the owner of Paws and Claws Pet Grooming in Belfast.

For the past few months, she and her employees have been busy with renovations as they get ready to open their second location.

After hearing about Somerset County Deputy cpl. Eugene Cole's son, David, receiving a vest for his K-9 companion, Kojo she knew she had to help Frankie, the only K-9 at the Waldo County Sheriff's Office.

"We decided to start raising money to kind of bring it as a dedication for our opening and to give something back to our community," said Hodgeman.

Sergeant Reed says that protection is key in their line of work.

"It's nice to have an extra tool to be able to turn to to protect the dog because we go into residences and we don't know what's in there. We track people and we don't know who they are. It could be called in that somebody is lost but it could be someone who doesn't want to be found. We don't know until we find that person and counter that situation to see what it is," said Reed.

"The search and rescue, the K-9 police dogs, they are so important, and to be able to help be a part of protecting them, that was pretty special to us," said Hodgeman