K9s4COPs to be Awarded FBI Director’s 2015 Community Leadership Award
Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Houston Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Perrye K. Turner announced last night that the 2015 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award will be presented to K9s4COPs, a Houston based non-profit organization.
SAC Turner presented the certificate announcement to K9s4COPs founder and chairman Kristi Schiller.
The special award, presented on behalf of the Director of the FBI, was formally created in 1990 as a way to honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and violence in the United States.
Every year, FBI field offices select a community partner to receive the prestigious award. Last year’s Houston-area recipient was United Against Human Trafficking (UAHT) for its efforts to fight human trafficking by educating the public, training professionals, and empowering the community to take action.
K9s4COPs was born from a news report airing in 2009 telling the story of Harris County Deputy Constable Ted Dahlin who was mourning the loss of his K9 partner, Blek. Blek had been strangled by a burglary suspect during a pursuit. Schiller, a local philanthropist, immediately decided to purchase a new K9 for Deputy Dahlin. Schiller quickly learned that the cost of obtaining and training a K9 is prohibitive. Police dogs require intensive and expensive training, so Schiller dug into her own pocket to fund K9s4COPs.
Since its inception, K9s4COPs has provided more than 100 dogs to police departments in 29 states. These animals, which come at a cost of $10,000 to $15,000 each, are responsible for finding explosives, narcotics, and weapons in some of our nation’s most at-risk communities.
K9s4COPcops also provides state-approved continuing education for the K9s and their handlers at the annual Texas K9 Olympics. Over 14,000 hours of required training have been provided to date.
After the tragic events at Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, Schiller implemented the K9s4KIDs program. Under the program, dogs are purchased and provided to elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as college campuses that cannot afford a K9 officer.
Ms. Schiller will travel to Washington, D.C. to receive the award from FBI Director James Comey in a ceremony at FBI Headquarters in the Spring of 2016.
Congratulations to K9s4COPS.