I haven’t decided if Sharon Blechinger is a dogs best friend or their guardian angel. This is the 7th year she hosted “Dollars for Dogs” at the Mexico Cafe– a fundraiser for police dogs. We pulled in and saw cars slowly circling the parking lot. Every space in overflow parking was taken too. At this point we realized why there were cars parked on the street and joined the trend. It was refreshing to know so many people support and appreciate the San Bernardino Police Department canine units. So the officers were waiters, and the dogs were friendly and soft. All tips and donations went directly to the K9 department. The large crowd really didn’t surprise me, because it a very supportive community. Sharon believes the community deserves all the credit, because she couldn’t have this fundraiser without them.

We all know police officers have a very difficult job, but San Bernardino has a rough reputation, and basically a canine can make an officers job easier and safer.

These dogs surpass the title of man’s best friend, or partner. They provide an additional element of safety for officers. Statistics show some criminals respect the dogs more than the officers. A police canine will deter criminal suspects from assaulting and resisting an officer’s arrest. Dogs have 300 olfactory nerve endings, compared to seven in a human nose. Their hearing is 25 times superior to humans and they see extremely well in limited light situations. A police dog can detect certain items even if they are sealed in plastic or buried in something intended to mask the scent. They can also be trained to search for flammables and explosives, and to provide legal grounds to establish probable cause for a search.

These dogs sound amazing right? They also can cost between $8,000-$10,000 for a professionally trained canine and San Bernardino is not rolling in money. In fact, the recent city budget discussions figured a 3.5 million dollar deficit. So, Sharon also qualifies as a guardian angel in some people’s eyes.

If you were unable to attend, but are still interested in donating to the fund for the next police, please send your check to Sharon at the Mexico Cafe, 892 Highland Ave., San Bernardino, CA. 92404.

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