The rape and murder of two San Diego teenagers that gripped the country, raised awareness levels regarding child predators and saw California implement the country’s toughest child sexual offenders penalties, also prompted a local organization to donate search and rescue dogs. The two K-9s will be named Amber and Chelsea, after the two slain teenagers.
The San Diego County Honorary Deputy Sheriff’s Association (HDSA) bought the search and rescue dogs for the Sheriff Department after the murder investigations concluded at a cost of $10,000 per K-9.
“Once we decide to tackle a project, like buying the search and rescue dogs, our members really step up,” says Wayne Hanson vice president of HDSA. “It only took us two weeks to raise the money for the two dogs.”
According to their website, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department the Search and Rescue (SAR) K-9 Unit has been in around for more than 30 years. The teams respond to local, state and federal law enforcement as well as other public service agency requests anytime day or night.
Hanson says San Diegians have been very good to him and are very charitable people. It is for this reason Hanson volunteers for HDSA and he takes pride in helping local law enforcement especially in tough economic times. “We’ve been able to raise more than $10 million over the past 35 years.
For example a month or so ago a new search and rescue squad was put together using a $75,000 donation from the HDSA organization.
The donation will facilitate a purchase of a trailer as well as items needed to set-up a field location unit that will be able to assist in disaster recoveries like, earthquakes, fire, floods or terrorist attacks, according to Search and Rescue Coordinator Sgt. Don Parker of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.
Many of the members of this organization are former law enforcement or retired military personnel who take pride in extending their public service through HDSA. The volunteer network consists of roughly 700 members who are able to procure law enforcement tools, like first aid kits for cars, that various departments may need, but haven’t been able to get through limited federal funds.
The Honorary Deputy Sheriff’s Association came to be in 1974 and was started by then Sheriff John Duffy. Their mission was to build an organization that would support training and securing equipment for local law enforcement agencies.
One of their big projects was to build a weapons training facility aptly named after founder Sheriff Duffy. The facility has now grown into Duffy’s Town and has ranges 5, 6, and 7, ballistics testing, classrooms, an obstacle course, rappel tower as well as administrative offices.
HDSA covers the approximately $40 thousand yearly upkeep costs at the training facility and continues to train more community members in gun safety using the Sheriff’s gun range.
Over the weekend the volunteer organization held another fundraiser. Members of HDSA, their family as well as Sheriff Department employees came out to Duffy Town to bone up on gun safety. The volunteers were also working in coordination with the Sheriff’s Department to offer the written-and-practical training needed to obtain a CCW gun permit.
Hanson said, “Three Sheriff’s deputies were on hand to supervise while participants learned all about gun safety and how to properly handle and shoot a firearm.” HDSA Members were even lucky enough to “use some of the Sheriff Department’s weapons,” he said.
The Honorary Deputy Sheriff Association also assists San Diego Police Department and National City Police Department.
For more information on HDSA visit their website; http://www.sdchdsa.org/