Published April 20, 2018
Hendersonville Times News
Photograper: Patrick Sullivan

K-9 officer Pete Laite runs drills with his dog Sunny on Friday in a field off of Grove Street. The K-9 unit of the Hendersonville Police Department decided to retire Bak, a 10-year veteran of its team. With the help of STAND T.A.L.L., the HPD acquired its latest K-9. Laite and Sunny, a 2-year old Belgian Malinois, completed multi-day training last month.

“If it weren’t for the wonderful people at STAND T.A.L.L.,” Laite said, “this would never have been possible. That would have left our department with only one patrol K-9 available for duty.”

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HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. (Blue Ridge Now) Three of Henderson County’s finest are now safer after being outfitted with lightweight, bullet-proof vests to match their human counterparts.

Local nonprofit STAND T.A.L.L. (Thank a Local Lawman) helped raise funds to purchase protective vests for the three Belgian Malinois serving as K-9 deputies for the Sheriff’s Office.

The K-9s received their custom-fitted vests Wednesday at the Sheriff’s Office. K-9 Maik had his on for about 30 minutes without any issues or the urge to chew on it. Maik’s partner, Detective Robert Pace, said he was wearing it like a T-shirt.

“It’s what we were looking for originally was something that’s not heavy or cumbersome,” said Pace. “That’s exactly what this is; it’s light, thin.”

In early October, STAND T.A.L.L. board member Sharon Hanson learned the Sheriff’s Office didn’t have modern protective vests. As an avid animal lover, Hanson brought her concern to the board and helped lead the fundraising effort.

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HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) — Henderson County's K-9 officers now have added protection when they're on the job.

The group Stand TALL spearheaded a fundraising effort to buy protective vests for the county's three K-9s, including Ranger and Maik.

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HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — An effort to equip local K-9 officers got a big boost from a 9-year-old girl.

The donation was made to a local effort to raise $8,500 for five vests for Henderson County's K-9 officers.

Averee Fox had been doing her own fundraiser for vests when she saw the News 13 story last month about the group Stand TALL's similar fund drive.

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HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (Hendersonville Tribune) —Pro-police Stand T.A.L.L. has raised more than $20,000 in its first year, and enters this summer more adept than ever in raising money from special events and giving grants to local departments for items not covered in their budgets.

The next major event is Corks for Cops on Friday, Aug. 11, at the party barn of Alan Ward’s the Appalachian Ridge Artisan Cidery that opened last summer. It is across the road from St. Paul’s Mountain Vineyard, at 731 Chestnut Gap Rd. near the Chimney Park Hwy (U.S. 64 E.). Event hours are 5:30-9 p.m.

Admission is $12, and includes the first glass of wine. There will be live music, food, wines and ciders. Board Pres. Kauffman said several other projects are in the works.

Stand T.A.L.L. has arranged for free Coffee for Cops for a week each month since October. The next one is July 17-22, in David Schnitzer’s Appalachian Coffee Co. at 121 N. Church St. in Hendersonville.

Stand T.A.L.L. stands for Thank A Local Lawman, and focuses solely on Henderson County. The non-profit group began its fundraising in July of 2016. Founder and board Pres. Ron Kauffman said they raised over $5,000 in the first five months, and nearly $15,000 more this calendar year — with over $3,000 of that from the “committed” board members. He said most money is from private donors. He said overhead is very low, for “basic” operation expenses.

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