OLIVE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Like a lot of children his age, 10-year-old Ben Daniels has decided he wants to be a police office when he grows up.
But instead of just dreaming about the job, he’s helping out in a big way.
Ben and his 8-year-old brother, Jake, started putting their allowance together.
Then came the lemonade stand.
By the time they were finished, the boys raised $1,200 dollars for the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit. A portion of the money raised, $700, was through a grant from Emma Loves Dogs — The charity honors an 8-year-old girl from Wisconsin who died from a rare form of brain cancer in 2019.
“I love law enforcement. I want to do K-9 officer stuff when I get older, and I just thought it was a nice thing to do,” Ben said.
“And plus, none of these guys have vests on,” 8-year-old Jake added.
It’s not just the bullet and knife resistant vests they need.
Smart and highly-trained law enforcement K-9’s run on average between $10,000 and $15,000 to purchase.
Then comes the necessities, like food and veterinarian bills.
Four dogs are in the OCSD K-9 unit, including 7-year-old Blitz.
Discovering illegal drugs stashed in vehicles is one of Blitz’s specialties. He’s also good at finding hiding suspects, sniffing for evidence and finding lost kids and adults.
But Blitz can also have a calming effect, especially as law enforcement deals with community relations issues.
It starts with the kids who want to see Blitz.
“Some of the neighborhoods we’re in, the parents haven’t always had the greatest experience with us,” said OCSD Deputy and Blitz’s partner Chris Armstrong.
“But then they see me out, showing them the dog and they see my interaction with the kids. It might just give them a little better feel about the police in their neighborhood.”
The $1,200 raised by the Daniels brothers could have bought more than a few baseball gloves or video games.
But the boys decided it could be put to better use.
“Because of what they’re going through right now, I just wanted people to see not all of them are bad,” Ben said.
Despite all that divides us from police community relations to dealing with the pandemic, Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Kempker says the donation is an example there’s still plenty of good in the world.
“It’s been amazing to me, talking to other organization directors and groups that the giving is still there during this time,” Kempker said.
If you’d like to help the K-9 unit, contact OCSD at 616.738.4000.