PLEA provides free vest for Center Line K-9

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published October 27, 2017

 Center Line K-9 officer Murphy is pictured with his new  BulletBlocker vest.

Center Line K-9 officer Murphy is pictured with his new BulletBlocker vest.

Photo by Brian Louwers

CENTER LINE — Murphy, the four-legged crimefighter working for the Center Line Public Safety Department, now has some extra protection, thanks to the Professional Law Enforcement Association.

The Troy-based foundation, dedicated to protecting police K-9s by outfitting them with BulletBlocker ballistic body armor, presented its latest gift Oct. 24 during a brief meeting with Murphy and his handler, officer David Allen, Center Line city officials and Public Safety Director Paul Myszenski.

“This is great. We like to protect our officers. They protect us,” Center Line Mayor Bob Binson said.

Leslie McMahon, PLEA’s vice president and founder, said the foundation began in 2014 after reports online and on social media about police dogs killed or injured in the line of duty.

“I figured there has to be a way to stop this, so the best way to do that would be to provide vests,” McMahon said. “We realized that a lot of cities were not providing vests for their K-9 officers. We wanted to make sure they were safe, so that was our goal.”

PLEA also provided vests for K-9s in Troy, Madison Heights, Royal Oak and Rochester. It plans to present body army soon for dogs in Iron Mountain and Dowagiac.

Ashley McMahon, PLEA’s president, said the vests sell for about $1,000. The group is supported by donations and annual fundraisers, including a craft sale and a fun run.

“We hope to go national with this eventually,” Leslie McMahon said. “Right now, we hope to get every dog in Michigan that needs a vest covered. That’s our goal.”