To the editor, On Friday, July 12, we witnessed a community stand with its police department in a way other cities can only imagine. Though in many parts of our nation, law enforcement officers are being beat down by those who they swore to protect, West Plains is making steps to better its police department. 

In April, the former police K9 Tuk was unexpectedly retired after eight years of service due to medical reasons. This unfortunate circumstance left the West Plains without a working K9 team and created a great hardship for the department. Within the month, many businesses came forward to help raise the funds necessary to continue the K9 program. Programs and businesses such as the West Plains Fire Department, West Plains Elementary, McDonald's, Bootleggers, and Captain D's began successful independent fundraisers to contribute to the cause. 

Around that time we began planning fundraising banquet and set a goal of 150 attendees. Friday, July 12, we hosted over 300 attendees representing over 40 local businesses. This event could not have been such a success without the help of many amazing people and businesses. 

Thank you to the West Plains Civic Center for providing an amazing venue and tremendous help setting up for the banquet. Thank you to Savor's BBQ and Grill for donating the delicious meal, Alexis Rodman for the wonderful cake and Great Rivers Distributing for the adult beverages.

Thank you to Danahay Auction Service for donating time and talents to host a successful auction, and to the OMC Foundation, Cornerstone Family Worship, LaReeca Howell and Debbie Buehler for the beautiful decorations.

Thank you to the West Plains Daily Quill for helping to promote the banquet and all of our printing needs, to Endurance Church for providing volunteers to serve the wonderful meal, and to Ozark Radio News, the Optimist Club, Rotary Club, Lion's Club and Kiwanis for allowing us the opportunity to promote the banquet. 

There are so many wonderful businesses and individuals who deserve a million thanks and our complete gratitude. The West Plains Police Department K9 Banquet and Live Auction would not have been the success it was without the support of the community. We were completely blown away and will never forget the impact of those who helped. Thank you for your support, encouragement and unwavering belief in this program. With a community such as West Plains the K9 program will be successful and long lasting.

Officer Paul and Ashley Bradshaw

West Plains

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