The Carroll K9s receive bulletproof vests thanks to a donation

As a former police officer, Laurel Gellazuski Turner knows how important K9s are to a law enforcement agency. Thanks to the generosity of the Floyd County woman, two K9s from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office will now be better protected in the line of duty. Pictured left is Sheriff’s Deputy Austin Atkins with “Maverick,” Laurel Gellazusky Turner, Barry Turner, Michael Baker, and “Buck.”

David Broye | Carroll’s news

As a former police officer, Laurel Gellazuski Turner knows how important K9s are to a law enforcement agency. And now, thanks to the generosity of Floyd County’s wife, two K9s from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office will now be better protected in the line of duty.

Gellazuski Turner, a former ranger and police officer, recently donated a pair of body armor for “Buck” and “Maverick”, two K9 deputies for Carroll County Sheriff Kevin A. Kemp. Gellazuski Turner first donated two body armor to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in late 2020. She contacted Kemp late last fall to purchase two vests to fit the Carroll’s K9.

“They are very essential to a good law enforcement agency. The service they provide to a community is more than most could imagine,” Kemp said of his canine assistants. “They’re great to have around the kids. They’re great to have as a partner in the car with the officer. They don’t just become a dog, they’re part of my agency, they’re one of my deputies and I see it that way.

Maverick is a bloodhound and is trained to track long distances, Kemp said. Buck is a Dutch Shepherd also trained to track and find narcotics.

“Their services do a lot of great things for law enforcement and the communities we serve. It’s a great thing to have for a lot of reasons,” Kemp said. “Love my K9s and love having them at the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.”

Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Baker has been K9 Buck’s handler for about 16 months. In that short time, he said Buck had become much more than just a fellow officer.

“To me, that means everything,” Baker said of the donated body armor. “He’s not just a tool I use, he’s a member of the family. He’s my best friend. He’s with me on every call and when I’m off duty, he pretty much goes wherever I go. He’s family. When we get home tonight, I’ll take off my boots and uniform and he’ll lay on the couch with my wife or me or my kids and play with us. C It’s weird what he can do because of his intelligence, but at home he’s just another general dog.

Baker said he and Buck were so close that he himself priced similar vests in an effort to better protect his fellow assistant.

“When the sheriff told me that a lady was ready to help us, I was very excited. I had evaluated them myself and said that if I had to buy one, I would- same, but they are so expensive. My wife joked that I would be willing to buy it myself and I thought, “Yeah, that’s like having my gun by my side, so all I anything I can do to help her, I will,” Baker said. “I spoke to Laurel about donations. state investigation, but she realized it was an essential tool to have as a police officer. She lives on a farm in Floyd and I think she’s just a big animal lover. She said that it’s something she plans to do every year. I told her we were looking to get another dog, and she said if you did, let her know and she would get them a vest as well. She seems like a very good person.

Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter @AWorrellTCN

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