A K-9 officer in Ashland, Ohio, is a little safer on the job, thanks to the efforts of some middle school students.
The students at Black River Middle School in nearby Sullivan, Ohio, held a dance in order to raise money for a new ballistic vest for K-9 officer Meeko, FOX8 reports. Sgt. Tim Kitts of the Ashland County Sheriff’s Department recently took his K-9 partner to the school to show off Meeko’s new ballistic vest and to thank the school for its efforts.
“It’s such an honorable thing to have them doing that for us,” Kitts told the news station. “It actually gives me good hope for the future, the young people taking that extra step to go out and raise money and do something like this for her.”
The students decided to invest in Meeko’s safety after hearing about the death of Jethro, a K-9 officer with the Canton Police Department, which is about an hour away from the school. Jethro was shot and killed during a burglary investigation. His partner, Officer Ryan Davis, credited the dog with saving his life.
“I’m here because he did what he did,” Davis told CBS News.
Kitts hopes that Meeko will never have to test her vest in the line of duty, but he is relieved that she will be properly equipped while they do their jobs.
“It’s still fearful when we go into situations,” he said. “But at least I have that confidence that if something does happen, that extra protection is there for her.”