Texas program makes more than 300 arrests and $17 million in confiscations
In the first week of August, those who receive the NRA's Law Enforcement Newsletter will hear about the work of Kristi Schiller the program she spearheads — Paws on Patrol. Here's a quick look ...
Born with an instinct to protect and serve the pack, K9s are invaluable assets to public safety. They keep drugs out of schools and illegal munitions off the streets. Most important, they help our law enforcement officers go home to their loved ones at night.
K9s4COPs, a charitable foundation created by NRA member Kristi Schiller of Houston, Texas, is keeping paws on patrol by gifting these prized K9s to cash-strapped law enforcement agencies and school districts across the country. Since June 2010, K9s4COPs has placed more than 50 K9s on patrol.
“I don’t think the public truly knows how important K9s are when it comes to protecting our communities,” says Schiller, noting that K9s4COPs-donated K9s have confiscated more than 75 firearms and stashes of cocaine and marijuana worth more than $15 million, discovered more than $23 million in cash and assisted in more than 300 arrests as of late last fall.
K9s4COPs owes its existence to the tragic loss of K9 Blek, who was killed in action late December 2009.
“K9s would, could and do give their lives, not only for their handlers and other officers¸ but also the public in general,” says Harris County Sherriff’s Deputy Ted Dahlin, who K9 Blek with saving his life. “There is no machine yet invented that does what these selfless animals are asked to do. K9s in police work are force multipliers. Much like we will never know exactly how much crime is prevented by the presence of a police officer in a marked car, we can never be sure of the number of times the presence of a trained police dog has prevented something bad from happening or kept a bad situation from becoming worse.”
Officer Chris Dubois, a former K9 handler with the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Department, says in some situations K9s are an officer’s only backup.
“In a rural county, like Brazoria, your backup can be 20-30 minutes away and having that dog in the patrol car is a great peace of mind,” he says. “I know my wife slept better at night knowing I had that dog with me.”
Just two weeks after his K9 partner was retired, Dubois suffered a near career-ending injury that he believes could have been avoided had his K9 still been on duty.
“I got into a really bad fight in a bar parking lot and had I had my dog with me . . . ,” he recalls. “When I got in trouble, I kept pushing the button to deploy the dog, but there wasn’t a dog. Just the presence of that dog kept me out of so much trouble.”
Today Dubois serves the Angleton ISD Police Department, which was the first beneficiary of Schiller’s newest initiative through K9s4COPs—K9s4KIDs.
That's all we can share for now. For the full story, check back with us in August or sign up for the
NRA Law Enforcement Newsletter at le.nra.org/newsletter.aspx.