Mass. State Trooper “Neko” Gets Extra Protection With Donation from Pomerleau Family

In Front: Sherrie McGrath, Lynne Pomerleau, State Trooper Daniel Purtell, K-9 Officer “Neko”. Standing from left to right: Madison McGrath, Janice Pomerleau, Walter Pomerleau Sr., Tim Player, Walter Pomerleau Jr., Rena Pomerleau, Troy McGrath, Nolan McGrath. At Right, Neko.

By: Tom Duggan – December, 2013

The Family of Walter and Gabe Pomerleau donated a $1,000 bulletproof vest for the Massachusetts State Police K9 unit through a non-profit organization called Massachusetts Vest-A-Dog.

Massachusetts Vest A Dog works to raise money and resources to support Massachusetts’s police dogs by providing bullet proof K9 vests, equipment, training and even dogs themselves to various departments.

Massachusetts Vesta Dog has provided more than 370 bullet proof vests for police dogs in their thirteen years in operation.


The Pomerleau family presented Massachusetts State Trooper Neko and his handler Trooper Purcel at the corner of Beacon and Mount Vernon Streets in Lawrence, where two different memorials were erected to Walter Pomerleau, founder of the Mount Vernon Neighborhood Association. On the South West side of the intersection is a planter and a plaque dedicated to Walter, while across the street on the North West side is a bench dedicated to him as well.

“We wanted to make this donation to the State Police through Massachusetts Vest A Dog here at this corner in honor both my mother (Gabrielle) and my father,’ Jan Pomerleau said.

Jan had donated a vest for her hometown police department in Taunton that was received by their K9 officer Blitz, and his partner, handler Officer Robert Swartz in memory of Vivian Gamache.

The K9 vests are bulletproof, stab poof, blunt trauma protective, and only weigh about 5 pounds. The vests are flexible so that the dogs can run, jump crawl, and do all that needs to be done while wearing the vest on duty.