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Garden Grove Police Department
Friday April 18th, 2014 :: 12:44 p.m. PDT


Girl Scout/Sister of GGPD Officer Raises Funds to Vest GGPD K-9

Garden Grove, CA – Last Summer, Veronica Gomez, a 12-year-old resident of Garden Grove, saw a program on television covering police service dogs and the need to obtain bullet-proof vests for these dogs to help keep them safe in their dangerous line of work. She learned that just like police officers, police service dogs run the risk every day of coming up against an armed attacker. A bullet-proof vest can often protect these service dogs from an attacker’s knife or gun, but they cost approximately $900 to purchase. The program mentioned a number of companies that were engaged in obtaining vests for police service dogs, which set Veronica to thinking why can’t she raise the money and help vest a local police service dog herself?

Veronica is a member of the Girl Scouts of America, Troop #458, based in Fountain Valley. She is toward the end of her stint with the Girl Scouts and is due to complete her Silver Project. The Silver Project is a community service project required of Girl Scouts when they enter the 7th grade. Veronica decided that vesting a police service dog through her personal fundraising activities would be her Silver Project and a major contribution to her local community.

At the time, Veronica’s older sister, Vanessa Brodeur, had been hired by the Garden Grove Police Department and was attending the Orange County Sheriff’s Academy. The City of Garden Grove had just retired one police service dog and was in the process of obtaining another a new handler, Master Officer Omar Perez. That police service dog, Strauss, after completing nine weeks of police dog training, including narcotics detection, began working as Master Officer Perez’ partner.

At her big sister’s academy graduation in January of this year, Veronica saw the Garden Grove Police Chief, Kevin Raney. She approached him with her idea to raise funds to purchase a vest for the Department’s newest police service dog, Strauss. Chief Raney thought this was a great idea and made a contribution to her cause.
Since January, Veronica has handed out buttons with Strauss’ photo on them and asked various members of the community to donate to the cause. As a result, Veronica has already raised over $1,000, more than enough to vest Strauss. Veronica’s fundraising efforts are going to result in a surplus amount of donations and that money will be donated to the Garden Grove Police Service Dog Fund, which is a fund used to cover costs of the service dog program. It is likely her
contributions will ensure the safety of our next police service dog also!

The vest for Strauss is in the process of being purchased and the Department expects to have a formal vesting ceremony for Strauss in late May or June, when the vest is completed. Veronica, her sister, Officer Brodeur, and her mother, Michelle Gomez, will be on hand to present the vest to Strauss and Master Officer Perez at that ceremony.

Garden Grove Police Department
11301 Acacia Pkwy
Garden Grove, CA 92840

Emergency: 9-1-1

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