Yarmouth K9 Police Officer Skully proudly sports his new collar and leash as an outward sign of support for his fellow officers, slain Sgt. Sean Gannon and his K9 partner, Nero, who's recovering from gunshot wounds.
Lynn Valois, who works in the records division at the Yarmouth Police Department in Massachusetts, made Skully's thin blue line accessories.
In fact, Valois has spent much of her free time sewing the collars and leashes in memory of Gannon since his death April 12 while serving an arrest warrant in Marston Mills Village of Barnstable, which sits west of Yarmouth. She sells them on Facebook to raise money for Gannon's family.
“I wanted to do something,” said Valois, who's worked for the department for 36 years.
The first set went to Nero.
What's the story?
Valois shared her fundraising idea with Worcester Police Officer Chris Cutliffe the day after Gannon was killed.
“I said let’s put together a little Facebook page and let’s come up with a name and let's get the word out,” Cutliffe said.
Protect & Serve K-9 Collars was born and warrant officers started spreading the word about collars and leashes.
“I feel it’s only appropriate that she truly gets recognized for her commitment and dedication,” Cutliffe said.
A Yarmouth detective placed the first order for his dog, Oliver, and soon orders were coming in from all over the country.
“So far I have sent out 66 collars and leashes, and I have about 70 more orders to go out,” Valois told the news outlet. But Valois' generosity is no surprise to those who know her.
“She’s one of the most generous, decent people that I have ever known. She loves her police department. She loves all of us,” Worcester Police Officer Thomas Hurley said.
What percentage is going to Gannon's family?
Valois is dedicating 100 percent of the proceeds to Gannon's family.
“Every little thing that people like Lynn provide is awesome,” Hurley said.
She has already sent a check for $1,000 to Gannon's widow and hopes to raise more.