Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard recently experienced a first during his administration.
The South Central SADD group recently donated a total of $800 toward the canine units. SADD stands for Students against Destructive Decisions. Howard and Chief Deputy Ted Patrick bought pizza for the students and gave them a tour of the sheriff's office.
The sheriff considers it "very powerful" how the students reached out and "raised this much money."
"It's one of the finest group of students I've seen in my 30 years," Howard said, referring to his time in law enforcement.
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Bridgit Lacey, South Central business and computers teacher and SADD adviser, explained how the students were inspired for the fundraiser.
In the fall, the students wanted to have an all-school assembly about "new drugs," especially heroin and Krokodil. (Krokodil is the street name for Permonid, a morphine derivative.)
During the display, deputies showed off what the police dogs can do when searching for drugs. The officers also provided information on various drugs.
"Right after the assembly, students, teachers and staff thanked us for bringing them in and requiring them to be there," Lacey said.
Cameron Lloyd, son of corrections officer Mike Lloyd, shared with Lacey how we wanted SADD to do something to give back to the community. Cameron Lloyd's father has overseen the canine unit used in the Huron County Jail for about the last year.
Lacey said the students decided to raise money for the canine units in the sheriff's office and praised them for raising $400 "in such a short amount of time."
Her husband, Bo, the owner of Bo Lacey Construction, agreed to match the amount of money the students raised. Ultimately, the South Central SADD group donated $800 to the sheriff's office.
One of the fundraising events was an ice cream social at lunch in which students donated the amount they wanted for the ice cream.
"Whatever the students donated was 100 percent toward the canines," Bridgit Lacey said.
The next day, students and staff could pay $1 to dress casually or wear hats.
"Just from those two events, we raised over $400. My husband matched that," Lacey said.
Lloyd, 16, said the school assembly taught him a lot about what drugs are on the streets now and "what to look out for."
The junior enjoyed watching the police dog demonstration.
"It was cool watching them work," Lloyd said.
Since his father is a corrections officer, Lloyd said "it means more" to raise the $800 for the police dogs. The teenager said he has considered going into law enforcement also, but he hasn't decided.
Senior Alli Hintz, 18, said watching the police dogs search for drugs was "really cool."
"It got everyone's attention," she said. "It was fun when the teachers took a bite."
Hintz was impressed how the assembly showed off the different sides of the dogs' personalities, especially how they went from being "people-friendly" to ready to work.
"You can see the other side of them," she said.
The $800 donation will go toward feeding and training the police dogs.
"None of the money will go toward any other programs. Every penny will go toward the canines," Howard said.
"We deal with so much negativity in law enforcement, it warmed our hearts at the sheriff's office. We are overwhelmed with their kindness," Howard said.