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    NC (WLOS ) -- Stand T.A.L.L. (Thank A Local Lawman) is a local nonprofit organization that just won a 'Best of Blue Ridge' award for non-profits. Their work provides equipment to law enforcement around Western North Carolina.

Currently, they are raising money to purchase a body cam vest and first aid pack for the Columbus Police Department's newest K-9 member. Founder and president of the organization, Ron Kauffman and vice president Sharon Hansen spoke to News 13 about their work and a little about why they do it.

Ron Kauffman:

Being a cop is really tough. We never get anybody to say 'thank you.' That triggered the idea of how do we do something that says 'thank a local lawman.' This really addresses a problem that's ongoing across the country. No one ever wants to pay more taxes or thank the police or say anything really great about them, until they need them. So what we do is, if it's not budgeted and you think it's needed and we can make it happen, we do. We're in the process right now of helping to get some critical equipment they don't have. We look for opportunities. If we think of something, we'll call the chief or the sheriff, and we'll say, 'got an idea, what do you think about...?'

Sharon Hansen:

Well, in Polk County, the police department, they're getting a new dog. His name's Dino. He's a Belgian Malinois and he is currently in training. We've been asked to provide a protective vest for Dino. In addition to that, we're providing them with a medical kit specifically for the K-9. A dog is their first line of defense, they're handler/protector, particularly the bite dogs. So if there's a bad situation, the dog gets sent in first. If they are injured, then if the officer has the medical kit on hand, they can treat whatever the injury is. And it will also have Narcan in the kit. Dogs are special any way to me, and they protect us. And they protect the law enforcement officer. So you know, how can they not be special? What other animal is man's best friend? That's right. The group is expanding their organization and currently raising funds for equipment for additional departments.

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