Protecting The K-9 Officers That Protect Us

The Holmdel Police Department was recently given the opportunity to provide the latest state-of-the-art body armor (ballistic vest) for two of its members, thanks to the creativity of one of the department’s civilian staff members and the overwhelming generosity of many citizens. Holly Sandford, a Holmdel Police Dispatcher and the daughter of retired Brookdale College Police Chief William Sandford, felt that it was important that we protect our K-9 teams as they willingly put themselves in harm’s way to serve our citizens and community. Ms. Sandford designed and crafted commemorative bracelets and used social media to spread the word of her mission. She sold the bracelets one at a time to raise the money to purchase the “K-9 Storm” ballistic vests, to be worn by the canines in the performance of their duties.

When asked what inspired her to take on this task, she said, “Being a part of this department and working with the K-9 teams, I learned a lot about the unit, and how sometimes people view the canines as equipment. I also learned that much of the unit is maintained by donations.” Ms. Sandford stated that she actually began this task in memory of K-9 Diogi and K-9 Buddy, two former Holmdel police canines that recently passed away.

“Being the daughter of a cop, I understand the true meaning of loyalty to your family, and wanted it to mean a little more than just a donation,” she said. The bracelets came about because of her hobby of jewelry making. It was a task that she knew she’d be able to handle on her own, which was an important objective for her. “I wanted to be able to give the unit the best available option out there, but financially, I knew I couldn’t do it by myself,” she explained. “I started my mission in January, with the hope of purchasing a vest for K-9 Cairo. I hoped to sell 50 bracelets, but I’ve sold well over 200.” Due to the generosity of the community, Ms. Sandford raised enough to purchase a second vest for K-9 Patriot, as well. The vests are custom-made to each canine. K-9 Cairo’s vest was already received and issued to him. K-9 Patriot’s vest was due to arrive by mid-September.

Holmdel Police Chief John Mioduszewski stated, “We are very lucky to receive the support of the members of our community. Holly Sandford’s act of kindness and generosity is a great reminder of how the police and public have to work together.  Our entire department thanks her for her efforts.”