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MIDDLETOWN, NJ) – A book that was written as a simple story from a father to his daughter has become quite a happening to a local police department.

Children’s book author James Wiater of Millstone, NJ recently donated a ballistic vest to K9 Titan and his partner, Officer Michael Heaton of the Middletown Township Police Dept. Titan is a 2 year old Black German Shepherd who is dual certified by the New Jersey State Police K9 Unit in explosives detection and patrol. Titan is a graduate of scent class #33 and just recently graduated from patrol class #19.

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The dedication took place at the NJ State PBA Mini Convention in Atlantic City this past March. Officer Heaton and Titan accepted their vest in front of several hundred law enforcement officers who applauded the generous gift. The vest is a Bark 9, threat level III from Safariland. With the cost of $1000, the vest is puncture resistant and capable of stopping a bullet from a handgun. Officer Heaton who requested the vest from Big Dog Books in December was very happy and excited to receive the vest, knowing that his partner Titan will now have added protection while doing his job. Titan, along with four fellow K9’s helps keep Middletown safe and also helps local neighboring towns when needed.

The vest donation was made possible from proceeds of a children’s book written by Wiater, titled “The Adventures of Solo, The Big Dog”. The book started as a simple story about a K9 officer that Wiater had made up for his daughters. The book was titled after real life “K9 Solo” who was killed in the line of duty in Bradley Beach NJ in 1998. The publishing of this dog-loving children’s book is a dream come true for James Wiater. “Back in 1998, after reading the article about the police standoff and how Solo lost his life in the line of duty, I made a promise to myself that one day I would purchase a bullet proof vest for a K9 officer” Wiater said. This is the ninth vest for author James Wiater of Millstone, NJ who uses the proceeds from his children’s book. Wiater has also donated three pet oxygen, six trauma kits and a SUV cooling fan to K9’s throughout NJ and Pa.

“The Middletown Township Police Department is extremely grateful to Mr. James Wiater and his family for their donation to our K-9 Officer. It is an inspiring story which honors the sacrifice made by K9 Solo. This is a great example of the action of one person that benefits the entire community”, said Middletown Deputy Chief Robert Stefanski.  

To purchase a copy of “The Adventures of Solo, The Big Dog” and to help our cause protecting our K9’s, please visit or email Or visit our GoFundMe page for anyone who may be interested in making a donation. Friends of Solo/K9 equipment.