Police and Fire thank local students

Law enforcement officers and firefighters line up to give their thanks to local students
Alex Mann
Managing Editor

After receiving numerous thank-you letters from local students on September 11 of this year, Borger's Police and Fire Departments were finally able to offer a proper thank you on Friday as school administrators organized a 5th grade assembly so that officers and firefighters could express thanks in person.

After a brief introduction, nearly a dozen uniformed firemen and police entered the small gymnasium and were met with excited gasps and enthusiasm from students, especially as Eros the police dog made his appearance alongside his partners in law enforcement. “We wanted to say thank you very much for the letters you wrote on September 11.” Lieutenant Brandon Strope with the Borger Police Department began, “It meant a lot to every one of us who got a letter, and we've been sharing and reading each others letters. I have mine posted on the tack board behind my desk. It's a source of happiness when I see it, knowing that you took the time to write those and let us know what our service in the community means to you all.”

As the question and answer portion of the assembly began, a local student name Colin asked the inevitable question, “What do you guys need dogs for?” With all eyes on Eros, Strope chuckles, “I had a feeling that would be the first question.” He continues, “This is Eros, and Eros' partner Sergeant Fields. Eros is a narcotics detection dog, and he's able to smell things that humans are not able to smell. He can smell the same types of things as us, but he can smell them a whole lot better than we can. He's able to detect things that we may not be able to pick up... if someone brings something they're not supposed to have at school, Eros can help Sergeant Fields find it.” The next question was just as inevitable considering the black german shepherd's charm. “No you can't have him.” Strope laughs, “His training costs quite a bit of money, and his partner is quite fond of him. They make a good team.” He explains, “The dogs are trained in an extensive training program using known scents... If the dog is also trained to find people, they're trained the same way... They send someone off somewhere, and when the dog finds you, they let him know he did a good job. We reward the dogs the same way you guys get gold stars in class, the dogs like that as well.”

With all the talk of search and rescue, the next question came as no surprise as one student asked about Thursdays search efforts, and whether or not they had succeeded in finding the missing Jarric Weber. “Yes we did.” Strope announced to a relieved assembly, “Most of the people here today were out last night and we had quite a few volunteers and first responders. Trooper Davis here actually got to fly in a helicopter for a few hours and search from the air.” Strope concludes, “It was hard work, but it was worth it.” After officers and firefighters watched a video of students hand crafting their letters of thanks, the gathered first responders gave one last heartfelt thanks before leaving to continue their tireless work within the community.