Armor is one of two K9 officers at the Elkins Police Department. He's well trained, well behaved, and until today the only thing he was missing was, well, armor. But thanks to Randolph County Vo-Tech senior Brandon Simmons, he and his fellow K9 officer now have bulletproof vests of their very own. Simmons said he decided to help after attending the state Junior Trooper Academy and hearing about another K9 officer who was killed in a raid.
"Upon entry, the assailant was trying to shoot one of the troopers and she took the bullet. So from then, none of our dogs here have any vests, so that would help them a lot on heir drug runs," Simmons said.
Simmons decided to start a social media campaign to raise money to purchase a vest for the city's police dog, Macey and in just a few months raised the money needed to buy a vest. But during that time, Armor the dog joined the department, and Simmons was then able to raise enough money to buy vests for both K9 officers. It's a piece of gear that Armor's partner, Patrolman Justin Sigley, says can make a huge difference.
"It means a lot. He's my partner, he's with me all the time, 24/7. If something happens to him, it would show," said Sigley.
Simmons said he's glad his efforts are making a difference for the city. But what he didn't expect was how much the county supported his efforts with donations of up to four-hundred dollars. He said he's glad to know he found a cause that the rest of the community could get behind.
"One person said she was holding on to her money for a worthy cause, and she figured that this would be it. People will donate money as long as there's a cause for it, I can't really explain it any better than that," Simmons said.