A handful of Severna Park Girl Scouts testified in front of state lawmakers this week in favor of legislation that would require law enforcement agencies to equip canines with protective armor. Members of the Girl Scout Troop 1848 testified in front of Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee in favor of Senate Bill 238, legislation sponsored by Sen. Brian Simonaire, R-Pasadena. The troop consists of fifth-graders at Oak Hill Elementary.
“We want to make sure all of the dogs statewide are protected,” said troop member Rebecca Calish, 10.
If passed, the legislation is expected to cost the state around $117,000, according to a fiscal analysis of the bill on the General Assembly’s website. Four vests were donated to the Anne Arundel County Police Department last spring. Only two of 11 county police canines were without vests as of Thursday, said department spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure.
As part of its Bronze Award project, the Scouts have been raising money all school year to send a care package, including a protective vest, to a U.S. military canine serving overseas. The package costs around $1,000, said Laurie Edwards, one of three mothers who serve as troop leaders.
“We figured why not help an animal that keeps us safe,” said 11-year-old Emily Ranaghan.
This article was originally published on February 25, 2016.
Written by Ben Weathers, Capital Gazette