Stab-proof vest given to Nelson police dog

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One of the first 10 stab-resistant harnesses for police dogs has been introduced to Nelson’s canine unit this week.

The ‘Mako’ harness is fitted with layered polymer panels to shield the vital organs from stabbing and slashing.

The robust overall design is made from milspec nylon and trelleborg material which does not absorb moisture and also gives the animal protection from blows and kicks.

Ten dogs based across Nelson, Wellington, Palmerston North, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Whangarei, Auckland, Christchurch, Rotorua and Tauranga, will this week receive their new kit.

When the animals are in this harness, they’ll have a similar level of protection as an officer does when wearing their stab resistant body armour vest.

Wellington Dog Section head Senior Sergeant Mark Davidson says this is an exciting time for the 10 dogs and their handlers receiving the new harness.

“We’ve been really aware over the years that our dogs had only speed and mobility for protection, but with this new harness we’ve given them another level of protection alongside that.”

The harness weighs just over one kilogram and is designed so it won’t impair agility and speed, dries quickly and can be worn throughout a shift.

The remaining 120 harnesses are being rolled out to dogs across the country and the whole dog force will be wearing the harness within three months.