Citizens honored for donating canine vests to EHT police

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Laura Stetser/From left are Egg Harbor Township Police Chief Michael Morris, Capt. David Druding, residents Domenic Manno, Morgan Calhoun, Michael Elbertson and Amie Elbertson, Capt. Ray Davis and Capt. Chris Ruef as the department honored the residents for raising money to purchase the ballistic canine vests. Laura Stetser/From left are Egg Harbor Township Police Chief Michael Morris, Capt. David Druding, residents Domenic Manno, Morgan Calhoun, Michael Elbertson and Amie Elbertson, Capt. Ray Davis and Capt. Chris Ruef as the department honored the residents for raising money to purchase the ballistic canine vests.

Shooter, the police dog injured in line of duty, made a special appearance 

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – When Egg Harbor Township Police K9 Officer Robert Sheppard and his new partner, Neiko, hit the streets for a patrol shift on Wednesday, May 28, they were armed with a new piece of equipment.

Neiko was wearing a ballistic canine vest, one of four that were donated on Friday, May 2, by concerned community members who held a fundraiser to buy the vests for the department’s unit.

The Egg Harbor Township residents – Morgan Calhoun, Domenic Manno and Amie and Michael Elbertson – raised money for the vests during “Protect our K-9 Protectors” fundraiser in January as a way to hopefully prevent what happened to Shooter, a canine officer who was injured in the line of duty in November 2013 during a multi-agency manhunt in the West Atlantic City section of the township.

Laura Stetser/Lt. Michael Bordonaro and his retired canine partner Shooter are on hand to thank the residents for their donation of the ballistic vests. Laura Stetser/Lt. Michael Bordonaro and his retired canine partner Shooter are on hand to thank the residents for their donation of the ballistic vests.

Shooter’s handler and now owner, Lt. Michael Bordonaro thanked the residents. “I want to publicly thank them for taking the initiative. Our dogs will be protected now.”

Bordonaro said the vests will protect the dogs from stab wounds and bullets. “It’s going to protect the vital parts of the dogs. These dogs go into some pretty hot situations where they need this protection, so we’re glad to have them.”

Shooter’s handler and now owner, Lt. Michael Bordonaro, thanked the residents.
“I want to publicly thank them for taking the initiative,” Bordonaro said. “Our dogs will be protected now.”

Bordonaro said the vests will protect the dogs from stab wounds and bullets. 

“It’s going to protect the vital parts of the dogs. These dogs go into some pretty hot situations where they need this protection, so we’re glad to have them.”

Shooter, who was on hand for the presentation looking healthy and happy, was retired Jan. 22 and now is living a “life of leisure” at home with the Bordonaro family.

Egg Harbor Township Police Chief Michael Morris said the department normally is hesitant to accept donations from the community, but given the nature of the gift, he was grateful and accepted.
After Shooter was injured, Morris said there was an outpouring of support from the community.

“It was rewarding to get that positive feedback from the community we serve,” he said.

Morris presented Calhoun, Manno and the Elbertsons with an Egg Harbor Township Citizen’s Award in front of Township Committee during its meeting that night.

“Citizen involvement like yours is what makes this community a great place to live and work,” the award states.

Morris said in the first few hours of the fundraisers, the financial goal was met and by the end of the night, they had raised enough money to purchase vests for Pleasantville and Atlantic City police departments as well.

Read more:

Egg Harbor Township police dog injured in line of duty to be retired

Egg Harbor Township police dog shot in line of duty is at home recovering

Coast Guard lends a hand to local K9 trainees 


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