Sheriff’s K-9 unit receives donation from senior project

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From left, Cpt. Dennis Quakenbush, Deputy Neal Hoard, Scout, Options High School Principal Michelle Walden, Sgt. Dustin Dixon and Deputy Bryant Orem. (Photo by Robert Herrington)

From left, Cpt. Dennis Quakenbush, Deputy Neal Hoard, Scout, Options High School Principal Michelle Walden, Sgt. Dustin Dixon and Deputy Bryant Orem. (Photo by Robert Herrington)

A Noblesville Options High School senior spearheaded an effort that raised more than $300 for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s K-9 unit. The project was the brainchild of Brittany Craig. Craig, who graduated at midterm, was unable to attend the donation.

In her absence, interim principal Michelle Walden presented the check to deputies last Wednesday. Walden said the money was raised as part of a community service project they require of students.

Brittany Craig

Brittany Craig

Walden said Craig raised the money through a fundraiser night at Jim Dandy restaurant and money jars at the school and sheriff’s office.

Walden said the 12-week senior institute project includes four aspects: something the student is passionate about, service to the community, something they bring to the table and that they learn something new. The curriculum includes public speaking, goal setting, writing a mission statement, weekly meetings and fundraising. Walden said she liked how students got excited about helping others and learned about non-profits.

“Whether they raise $5 or $100 or just donate time, they get to feel the feeling of serving others. They want to do it again and again,” she said. “They feel how good it is to give back … We want them to be successful citizens outside the walls.”

Sgt. Dustin Dixon said the money could either pay for bloodhound training or buy food and equipment. The sheriff’s office has three canines and each attends two training schools yearly for certification. Dixon said the deputies were happy for any community donations they received given the tight economy and uncertain government funding.

“These dogs are very good but expensive to maintain,” he said, ” Expensive, but well worth it.”

In addition to the funds, Craig’s project has created a partnership between the alternative school and law enforcement. Before the start of her fundraising, Craig had the K-9 unit do a presentation at Options High School. Dixon said it was a K-9 officer that created his interest in law enforcement and he hopes his presence will “pay it forward” and interest others.

“That’s what got me interested,” he said.

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