It’s not just men and women who patrol the streets of Surry County.
Man’s best friend also has a hand — or paw — in keeping residents safe, and one canine public servant is sporting a new bulletproof vest thanks to students at Meadowview Magnet Middle School.
The K-9 Krew is a Lego team at the middle school, which was selected as an alternate at a state Lego competition. The K-9 Krew wasn’t only building Lego robots throughout the school year; the nine students and two coaches were also raising money to purchase a bulletproof vest for Erica, the Surry County Sheriff’s Office canine.
The overall theme of the Lego competition was Animal Allies, according to Sonia Dickerson, Surry County Schools director of communications. Students researched the ways humans and animals interact in society. One mission at the Lego competition included a “robot run” that incorporated a police dog and its handler.
In researching, the students found many canines serving in law enforcement die from gunshot wounds, according to Dickerson. The kids set their sights on raising money to provide Erica, a one-year-old Belgian Malinois with a bulletproof vest.
The team raised money by working at the concession stand at the school’s Christmas dance, eventually raising more than $850.
Dickerson said that Erica, her handler and Sheriff Graham Atkinson visited the middle school on Friday. Along with providing a demonstration for the students, the department accepted a check which will be used to purchase Erica’s vest.
“The K-9 Krew is very excited that they met their goal for the Lego competition, but they are more proud of the fact that they did something to help out their community,” remarked Dickerson.
“The team would like to thank the Surry County Sheriff’s Office for working with them,” wrote Dickerson on behalf of the Lego team. “They would also like to thank all of the people that donated to this special cause. A special shout-out goes to the Meadowview Magnet Middle School Boosters for helping us with the concessions at the Christmas dance.”
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.