BRISTOL - Wayback Burgers recently held a fundraiser supporting the Police Departmentâ€™s K-9 unit.
â€śIâ€™ve lived in Bristol my whole life,â€ť said Lanita Thomas, who manages the restaurant. â€śWayback is really in the community. Weâ€™ve done other fundraiser for organizations, such as the Boys & Girls Club. We had seen online about donations for the K-9 unit at the Bristol Police Department. It sounded like a good fundraiser idea. So we reached out to the Bristol Police Department and scheduled a date.â€ť
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, local residents got to meet and greet the dogs and their handlers. The fundraiser raised over $300.
Three dogs are now working in the K-9 unit. In the patrol division are two German shepherds named Bronn and Murphy. The third dog, a black Labrador named Heather, is used to detect illegal narcotics.
The dogs performed demonstrations for those who attended, while BPD personnel, including Chief Brian Gould, flipped burgers and helped customers.
â€śThe kids loved it,â€ť said Thomas, â€śSome kids might see the K-9 unit as vicious and mean dogs, but theyâ€™re really not. I think the kids were intimated by Murphy at first since he was the biggest dog. But the kids came around and realized that Murphy was actually a really friendly dog.â€ť
â€śWe owe a big thanks to Wayback,â€ť said Lt. Richard Guerrera, â€śThey reached out and offered to do this fundraiser.â€ť
Guerrera explained that the K-9 unit is a very expensive program and the donations from the fundraiser will go toward bullet- resistant safety vests and dog food.
â€śOur dogs are very active in this community. Theyâ€™re important and used a lot on patrol. Every donation helps,â€ť said Guerrera.
After rigorous training, officers and their dogs can track missing persons or criminal suspects, detect narcotics, search buildings for suspects, find discarded evidence and catch fleeing suspects.
â€śWe would absolutely love to do another fundraiser with the K-9 unit. Theyâ€™re an important part of the Police Department. Theyâ€™re around to serve and protect this community,â€ť Thomas said.