High school student helps make police K-9 bulletproof

A Lake Norman Charter Sophomore is getting results for police and helping take a bite out of crime.

Nicholas Lay launched a GoFundMe page to help keep a K-9 officer safe.

"They're a huge asset to the department," said Huntersville Police Officer Odette Saglimbeni.

Thanks to a student at Lake Norman Charter School, Cirro, a K-9 officer at the Huntersville Police Department, will now be bulletproof.

"It's great," said Saglimbeni.  "It just shows the support we have from the community."

Lay was visiting with Officer Johnson when he was filling in as a school resource officer at Lake Norman Charter.

"We were talking about the dogs and vests," said Lay.  "And he told me Cirro doesn't have one-- and he always comes to our school, so I was wondering if I could raise money for it."

"Nicholas saw a need before his eyes and took the initiative and ran with it," said Lake Norman Charter Principal Craig Smith.

Each year, students at Lake Norman Charter are required to earn ten hours of community service.  Lay launched a go fund me page to raise enough money for an $800 bullet proof vest for man's best friend.  This will count toward his hours.

"It's cool now that he has a vest because I know that was because of me and my friend," Lay said.

Cirro was the only K-9 officer at HPD without a bullet proof vest because he came on the force later than the other officers.

"Last year, there were 27 K-9 officers killed in the line of duty," said Saglimbeni.  "And of those, 33 percent died from gunshot wounds or assaults-- so it's pretty important for them to have these vests.

When they're tracking an armed and dangerous person, they can be 30 feet in front of a handler-- so you never know what could happen."

"Just knowing the dog is more safe now that he has a vest, I think that's really cool," said Lay.

The extra money donated will go toward getting future K-9 officers vests at HPD.