By Amanda Simmons, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Haughton Police Department is growing by four paws.
The department will be adding a K9 unit to its force thanks to a recent donation by a local teen.
Kynzie Collier wanted her senior project to make a difference in her community. She loves dogs and has a great respect for law enforcement so she combined the two.
Kynzie designed and sold t-shirts and also held a carnival with food and games at First Baptist Haughton. When she added up her profits, she raised a total of $15,000, which almost doubled her original goal.
“It takes anywhere from $8,000 to $25,000 to get a police dog so I feel accomplished,” Kynzie said.
Haughton Police Chief Todd Gibson knew the need to add a K9 was coming and Kynzie’s donation will certainly help them accomplish that.
“With the way this town is growing so fast, it is in the near future,” Gibson said. “I was open to the idea of her project. It will help us with searches of buildings for possible felons and it’s safer to send a dog in to do that than an officer. It will help tracking lost kids or missing elderly. There are a lot of benefits to us having a dog here.”
It may be a while before the four-legged officer reports for duty, though.
“We’re still in the really early stages,” Gibson said. “We haven’t actually purchased the dog. I’m working on policies and procedures for the use of the dog, the cost of rigging out the car and we will have to get the officer and dog trained.”
Kynzie feels the town will greatly benefit from having a K9 unit. She’s looking forward to meeting the dog and seeing what it can do for Haughton.
“The police department said when they have their very first drug bust it will be called the Kynzie bust,” she said. “That’s really what I’m looking forward to the most.”
Kent Collier, Kynzie’s dad, said he’s not only proud of his daughter, but of the Haughton Police Department.
“We know almost all of our police officers here in Haughton on a personal level,” Kent said. “They work hard to make sure everyone is safe and we want to say thank you. It takes a special person to do that job and we have such a huge appreciation for them.”
Kynzie is a 2018 graduate of Haughton High School and will be attending Louisiana Tech University in the fall. She encourages upcoming seniors to challenge themselves to do something positive for their communities.
“It really was a life changing experience,” Kynzie said. “This is something the community will never forget and it’s going to have a big impact. If I could do this imagine what you could do.”