Extra Protection for Redding’s Furry Five Canine Cops
By Teresa Ambord
Photos Courtesy of Christy Hayes, Director of Marketing, Servicemaster by Cronic Disaster Relief of Redding.
The only thing better than a good dog is a good dog with the power, focus, and training to save lives. Redding’s police force is privileged to include five of the finest canine cops around – Abel, Cain, Carr, Chyr, and Tarro. These canines and their handlers form dynamic teams that make us all safer.
“These dogs are force multipliers,” said Redding Police officer, Ryan Ellis. Criminals may fight with the police, but when the dogs show up, the bad guys think twice. The problem is, of course, that while the canine cops are at work, their own lives are at risk.
Between a handler and his dog, “the connection is tight,” said Ellis. “I spend more time with Tarro than I do with my family and kids. I’m with him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” It’s also that bond that makes the handlers keenly aware of the danger their dogs are in while working.
Now, thanks to the fundraising efforts of some remarkable people, Redding’s canine cops just got safer. All five dogs have recently been outfitted with ballistic vests that are bulletproof, stab-proof, and can be used to airlift dogs when necessary. There is still risk, said Ellis, but the vests give them an added layer of protection.
That protection wasn’t cheap. At $1,800 each, and with a strained budget, purchasing those vests was not an option for the police department. That’s why Cronic Disaster Relief of Redding stepped up to spearhead a successful fundraising pro- gram that made buying the vests possible. Key among those who helped raise money were Redding resident Patricia Penn, who was a champion of raffle ticket sales; the law enforcement officers themselves; and a fine bunch of gentleman who dub themselves the ROMEOs (Retired Old Men Eating Out). Together they got the word out… and brought the money in.
Kellie Hamilton is the founder of a local not-for-profit which keeps an eye on the needs of the police dogs. Her agency collected the donations and purchased the vests. “Without the generous support of our community” said Hamilton, “we would not have the awesome canine program that we have.”
Learn more about Hamilton’s organiza- tion and future fundraising efforts at her Facebook page, Communities for Police Canines. Also check out RPDK9.com to read more about Redding’s five brave canines themselves and the officers they serve with.