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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Elsmere Police Receive K9 Ballistic Vest Donation from Haverkamp Foundation

Left to right: Amberly Village Police Chief Richard Wallace, Amberly Village K-9 Officer Andrea Alt and K-9 Creed, Nancy Haverkamp, Elsmere Chief Joe Maier, and Elsmere K-9 Officer Jesse Wenning and K-9 Onyx.

One of the Elsmere Police Department’s bravest “officers” will be much safer as he works to detect drugs, search buildings, apprehend criminals and more as he protects Elsmere residents. 
K9 Onyx - a 4-year-old, 74-pound German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix – has been outfitted with ballistic vest through a donation from The Haverkamp Foundation, which has purchased 81 K9 vests for police departments with nearly $770,000 the foundation has raised since 2005. 

“The generous donation of the ballistic vest will improve Onyx's safety not only on daily patrol but also when we are called out with the Kenton County Regional SWAT team,” said Onyx’s handler, Elsmere Police Officer Jesse Wenning. “The night prior to learning about the vest donation, K9 Onyx and I were involved in a SWAT standoff in Covington where we were both shot at.  At the time of the standoff, Onyx did not have a ballistic vest to protect him.” 

The Matt Haverkamp Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3), was established in November 2005 in remembrance of a beloved son, dear friend, and K9 police officer. The mission of the foundation is to continue Matt Haverkamp’s legacy and keep his memory alive by supporting the law enforcement agencies in communities throughout Greater Cincinnati.   

Matt Haverkamp joined the Golf Manor Police Department in 1999, where he founded both the K9 unit and the department’s bicycle patrol. He tragically lost his life in 2005 from injuries he suffered in a car accident. 
After learning that Elsmere did not have a vest for Onyx, The Haverkamp family contacted Officer Wenning about donating a vest to the department. 
“I was very excited because K9 Onyx did not have a vest and we are often placed in very dangerous situations frequently,” Officer Wenning said. “K9 Onyx and I have been a certified working team since December 2018. K9 Onyx and I work regular patrol but are also assigned to the Kenton County Regional S.W.A.T. team that covers Kenton and Campbell Counties.” 

K9 Onyx and Officer Wenning are a Dual Purpose K9 Team that is nationally certified by the North American Police Working Dog Association in narcotics detection, article search, area search, building search, tracking, criminal apprehension, and obedience.  

“The Haverkamp family is a tremendous supporter of law enforcement,” said Elsmere Police Chief Joe Maier. “The donation of a ballistic vest to our own K9 Onyx is immensely appreciated and just the latest example of how the family and foundation work to protect Police Service Dogs and make our communities safer.” 

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