XENIA — Two members of the Greene County Sheriff’s Office will be getting new ballistics vests thanks to a community fundraising campaign boosted in part by a donation from the Xenia Kroger.
Those two officers, Roy and Benny, each have four legs and a tail. Yes, thanks to the community campaign, the sheriff’s office’s two K9 units will now be better protected in the field thanks to the donation. Officials from the grocery store and from the local law enforcement office were on hand for a $500 check – and treat – presentation Wednesday morning.
According to Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer, the donation came about because of the efforts of Nancy Hazlett, a Xenia resident who solicited funds for the vests when she found out the dogs’ old vests had expired.
After Hazlett approached the Xenia Kroger store about donating, “We thought why not try and help in a little bit bigger way than what she was asking for,” the store’s manager, Angie Vanatta, said. “We took on full force trying to get them some money.”
Fischer expressed his thanks for the donation: “It’s a worthwhile project, and we appreciate it,” he said. “… These are working dogs. They’re so important to, one, the safety of the county, because they do catch bad guys, two, they are vital to drug enforcement. … It’s a tool in our utility belt that we have.”
According to Fischer, the vests cost about $1,100 a piece. The funds raised also helped to purchase a software program that tracks the K9s in the field, according to a release from the sheriff’s office.