Children’s book author James Wiater of Millstone, NJ recently donated a ballistic vest to K9 Titan and his partner, Officer Michael Heaton of the Mid- dletown Township Police Dept. Titan is a 2-year-old Black German Shepherd who is dual certified by the New Jersey State Police K9 Unit in explosives detection and patrol. Titan is a graduate of scent class #33 and just recently graduated from patrol class #19.
The dedication took place at the NJ State PBA Mini Convention in Atlantic City this past March. The vest is a Bark 9, threat level III from Safariland. With the cost of $1000, the vest is puncture resistant and capable of stopping a bullet from a handgun. Officer Heaton who requested the vest from Big Dog Books in December was very happy and excited to receive the vest, knowing that his partner Titan will now have added protection while doing his job.
The vest donation was made possible from proceeds of a children’s book written by Wiater, titled “The Adventures of Solo, The Big Dog”. The book started as a simple story about a K9 officer that Wiater had made up for his daughters. The book was titled after real life “K9 Solo” who was killed in the line of duty in Bradley Beach NJ in 1998. The publishing of this dog-loving children’s book is a dream come true for James Wiater. “Back in 1998, after reading the article about the police standoff and how Solo lost his life in the line of duty, I made a promise to myself that one day I would purchase a bullet proof vest for a K9 officer” Wiater said. This is the ninth vest for author James Wiater of Millstone, NJ who uses the proceeds from his children’s book. Wi- ater has also donated three pet oxygen, six trauma kits and a SUV cooling fan to K9’s throughout NJ and PA.