Bristol Police Officer Tim O’Brien feels better now that his 4-year-old police dog Murphy has some new protection.
Murphy now sports a bulletproof vest. His old outfit was much thinner and not gun-resistant.
“I’m a lot more secure in his safety with this thing riding around on his back. He’s got a little more of a buffer between him and the people who are looking to not be bothered by us, or that we’re looking to catch and take off the street,” said O’Brien.
He credits that peace of mind to Hayley Smith. The 13-year-old heard Murphy could use some extra protection.
“I started off getting donations in my school by selling paw prints, like just pieces of paper with a pawprint on it, people did that in my school, just to show that you donated and then me and my mom went around to local businesses and asked for donations,” Smith said.
She “patrolled” Bristol for five months, going door-to-door every other day. The 8th grader eventually raising $700 to buy the vest and said the first time she saw Murphy wearing it, she couldn’t stop smiling.
“I was very proud. I knew that he was finally safe,” Smith said.
O’Brien said the new safety vest allows officers greater flexibility at crime scenes.
“I can put him into the woods or into a building and, you know, while no scene is 100 percent secure, I’m a little bit more confident, that he’ll come out, you know, still okay and with all his fur,” he said.
A new patrol dog is joining the team soon and O’Brien said the K9 Unit’s budget is limited. You can donate here.
Smith’s already offered her services to secure that dog a bulletproof vest, too.
“I just think that other people should try to help out the community, because I think it’s important to
give back,” she said.
Smith is currently working on another fundraiser. She hopes to help collect $30,000 to buy a car lift for a boy with muscular dsystrophy. Donate to that cause here.