SUNY Canton students outfitted the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 officer with new gear that could save his life.
A chocolate Labrador retriever named Hershey now wears dog-fitted body armor that almost completely matches the bulletproof protection worn by his partner, Deputy Andrew J. Ashley.
Undersheriff Scott F. Bono noted Hershey faces danger every day alongside his human companion.
“Three student-run organizations pooled resources to purchase body armor for Hershey,” said Professor William J. Fassinger, who teaches in the Criminal Investigation program. “The American Criminal Justice Association, the Criminal Justice Student Association, and the Veterinary Technology Club all pitched in to purchase the Kevlar vest.”
Fassinger explained that Eli Max, a Criminal Investigation major and a cadet in the St. Lawrence County Law Enforcement Academy, spearheaded fundraising efforts. Max ran raffles, and assisted his club with t-shirt sales, and sold flowers. “The vest cost about $1,000 and we spent about four months raising money,” he said.
The generosity of the student organizations gained the attention of Congressman Bill Owens. In a letter, Owens complemented the excellent work the clubs had done to equip Hershey with the new armor. “K-9 units substantially augment law enforcement capabilities in rural communities, and your efforts are greatly appreciated,” he wrote.
The clubs are prepared to donate a second vest, and hope to make more K-9 body armor donations in the future. For further information on the SUNY Canton K-9 Armor project, contact Fassinger at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (315) 386-7917.
Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.