The Vested Interest Fund is a unique fund that provides bullet resistant vests at no cost to every working K-9 in New Jersey. The fund was established in memory of Solo, a three year old German Shepherd with the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office who died in the line of duty on June 5, 1998. Solo was shot and killed in the act of seeking out a suspect in a building in Asbury Park, NJ. He had an extraordinary record of 19 apprehensions, and he'd located 11 missing persons in his short but heroic life.
Upon hearing of Solo's death, Executive Director Roseann Trezza wanted to find a way to protect other New Jersey K-9's from experiencing a similar tragedy. Body armor companies were sought; law enforcement departments brought in their K-9's to try out several vests; decisions were made and the Vested Interest Fund was born.
Donations poured in from all over New Jersey, and on December 21, 1998 The Society held its first vest presentation ceremony at the John H. Stamler Police Academy in Scotch Plains. 47units were provided with K-9 vests. A second presentation on March 4, 1999 provided 78 more vests, and on June 30, 1999 the largest presentation ceremony yet was held. 127 vests were presented and 175 were ordered to be received at a fourth ceremony. And the rest is history.
To date the Society has provided working K-9's in New Jersey with over 1,000 vests and another 150 across the nation. Read about the most recent K-9's to be receiving vests. This protection has been supplied to State, County and Municipal law enforcement agencies, as well as government agencies, U.S. Park Police, Amtrak, Port Authority, Corrections Departments and Search and Rescue dogs. Vests continue to be given to all K-9's coming through the training academy and as law enforcement agencies choose to add K-9 units. The Vested Interest Fund, the first of its kind in the country, has also inspired and guided many other states and even Canada in providing vests for their working k-9's.