Alpha Phi Sigma Raises Money for Local K-9 Unit

Alpha Phi Sigma, the University’s Criminal Justice Honor Society, hosted their third annual “Paws for a Cause” fundraiser to raise money for bulletproof vests for the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

This fundraiser, held in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center’s Anacon Hall featured some of Monmouth County’s police officers and their canine counterparts.

During the event, which ran from 2:30 to 4 pm, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Officers used the dogs to demonstrate basic obedience training, as well as the various drug and bomb locating skills that the canines use in real life crime situations.

The event also featured a bake sale and a paw-print coloring station where people who donated to the cause were able to decorate their very own paw-print. These illustrations will eventually be hung on the walls of the Sheriff’s Office as a way to raise awareness for the county’s need for canine bulletproof vests. Door prizes were also given to a number of lucky guests.

“I enjoyed the different demonstrations and seeing the different things the dogs could do, like sniff out drugs and bombs and attack at the command of their trainer,” said Eryn Siddall, a junior psychology major.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), most canines chosen to be police dogs are German Shepherds. “Chosen for their loyalty to one person, intelligence and trainability, German Shepherds are noted for their ability to learn a number of tasks and perform them well,” according to the DEC’s website.

The dogs that are working in canine units across the country are exposed to just as much danger as the officers who train them.

“Just as human police officers are vital in protecting the welfare of the public, the canines are also officers that risk their lives to protect us,” said Katie Musa, President of Alpha Phi Sigma and a senior criminal justice major. “These bulletproof vests are very expensive so Alpha Phi Sigma wants to give back and share [their] appreciation by raising money to vest a canine that needs protection.”

Although admission to the event was free, Alpha Phi Sigma highly encouraged everyone in attendance to make a donation. Musa said that a total of $260 was raised at the event and that the criminal justice department is still accepting donations. There will be a check ceremony on Mar. 26 where all the money raised will be presented to the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit.

Amy Rochette, a junior criminal justice major, said, “Overall, I think the event was a huge success. I know we raised a significant amount of money for the canines and raised awareness, which is always the goal. We also had a huge amount of people come out in support, which is great.”

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office