On Thursday, December 10, 2020 the Trumbull Police Department's K-9 unit received donations to purchase two (2) bullet proof K-9 vests thanks to charitable donations from Trumbull residents. Trumbull resident Cindy Penkoff, who has lead various events and fundraising activities in support of the police, organized the fundraising, but the contributions were made by members of the community. Once Penkoff began fundraising it only took 48 hours of cash donations to result in enough money for the purchase of two (2) K-9 vests. Penkoff provided a check to K-9 Officer RJ Carlson, for the donated amount of $3,150 for the purchase of the new vests.
At a recent pro-police gathering, Penkoff, was informed that Trumbull Police were in need of a new vest for their K-9 unit. Penkoff then began collecting donations for a new vest when she was contacted by the Sicilian family of Trumbull. The Sicilian’s also wanted to donate funds to purchase one (1) of the needed K-9 vests to honor the memory of their late son, Nicholas. Nicholas W. Sicilian suffered fatal injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident that occurred in Trumbull in 2016. Nicholas was only 27 years old at the time the accident. The Sicilian family made their donation for the new K-9 vest on what would have been Nicholas’ birthday. One of the donated vests will be sponsored by the Sicilian family and an embroidered patch will be developed for the vest in the memory of Nicholas.
The Trumbull Police Department currently has two (2) active police K-9 teams. K-9 “Rico” is a 5 year old Belgian Malinois whose handler if Officer RJ Carlson, and K-9 “Bane” is a 2 year old black and tan German Shepard whose handler is Officer Gregory Lee. Both “Rico” and “Bane” were both in need of a vest, as neither have been provided one. Each K-9 vest has a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 pounds.