Boy Scouts of America Life Scout River Carson is on a mission to raise $30,000 to complete his Eagle Scout project at the Delaware County Jail. Carson wants to erect a memorial honoring all the dogs that have served as police K-9s in Delaware County.
Carson presented his idea to county commissioners on March 1.
“Police dogs risk their lives every day,” Carson told the commissioners Thursday. “An example of that is when they helped my sister.”
Carson explained that his little sister had become lost after dark, which made it hard for her “navigate around.” He said his family called the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office for help.
“They brought the dogs to find her,” he said.
Carson said police used the term “force modifier.” He said the term meant one police dog could do the same amount work, in the same amount of time, as five human police officers.
“So, they are really valuable in the police force,” he said. “Delaware County does not have anything to honor these dogs at the moment. I think that the jail will be the perfect place for the community and police officers to honor these dogs.”
Carson presented a video to the commissioners about Jethro, a K-9 officer on the Canton police force. Jethro and his partner were called on to investigate a burglar alarm at a local grocery store. Unfortunately, Jethro was mortally wounded in the line of duty while saving his human partner’s life.
Carson added the community was so inspired to honor the fallen K-9 officer that “there were over 1,000 people in that auditorium.”
Carson said, “The Delaware County Jail would be the perfect spot” to put the K-9 memorial for all the deputies and community to see.
“It wouldn’t be vandalized because it’s the jail, compared to a park where it could be spray painted or something,” he said. “There will be 80 plaques on the wall for both past and future dogs.”
Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin said his department is honored to have been working with Carson and his family for almost a year on the project.
“We’re excited about this opportunity,” he said. “We’ve provided some guidance and direction as he has worked on the project. He is mature beyond his years. These are the kind of citizens that we want to see raised in our community, and scouting does a great job of preparing our next generation of our leaders.”
Martin said Carson has “done his due diligence” and his department completely supports him and the project.
“We’re really proud of River and looking forward to him obtaining his Eagle Award,” he said.
Carson told commissioners that he wanted to be a K-9 handler when he grew up, “because I really appreciate what the police do, and it would be just awesome to work with dogs.”
Carson is a member of Boy Scout Troop 2249, which is sponsored by St. Mary Catholic Church, Delaware. He lives in Powell and attends Hyatts Middle School.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.