We had the good fortune of connecting with Diane Lewis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diane, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Law enforcement departments have budgets that need to cover many needs. We with Back The Blue K-9 Force made the decision 4 years ago that we wanted to help protect the Hero K-9’s. The three co-founders knew that the safer we keep the K-9’s the safer they can keep their handlers and all the other Officers. The pop and lock systems that Back The Blue K-9 Force was able to purchase with donated funds enable the handlers to press a button on their belts and the dog door on the vehicle opens. The K-9 can then help apprehend the bad person. One of our local handlers had made a traffic stop. The driver started hitting the handler on the head more than 20 times. The handler’s glasses were broken. The handler was able to lean back and hit the door pop. The K-9 flew out and the bad person gave up. Then the K-9 took off after the passenger of the car who had fled. The dog found him and kept him cornered until other officers could take him away to jail. Back The Blue K-9 Force is run by volunteers. No one gets a salary. 100% of profits go to K-9 needs. The need for protective gear and medical procedures never stops. We are expanding our reach to two more departments. We love that we are able to help 6 departments. Our hope one day is to be able to say yes to every request.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Back The Blue K-9 Force is a team effort. This NonProfithas the best of the best in volunteers. The people that come to the events are supporters of law enforcement. This is a trying time being a supporter of the Blue. We have had people challenge us on our Facebook page on why we do what we do. Our goal on that page is to let people know about the accomplishments of K-9’s. Two ways that people can help without it costing them any extra are: At Amazon smile using code smile.amazon.com/ch/81-3823391 they will donate to our nonprofit a percentage of your purchase. Also at kingsoopers.com if you click on Community Rewards, it will take you to a page where you can link your King Soopers card to Back The Blue K9 Force or use code XE774.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
With Back The blue K-9 Force we love the K-9’s. I would take my friend to the K-9 Unit at Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office and meet the Hero dogs. I would show my friend the existing training Obstacle course. This course today is nothing like what it will be in a few months with the help of JHL Construction and Bronco’s organization. This new course will have real-life challenges that the K-9’s experience in their everyday shifts. Replacing the weeds and dirt with new astroturf will be a huge improvement and better for the K-9’s feet. If we had an event at a local restaurant for Back The Blue K-9 Force we would go there and meet up with all the people who make our nonprofit all it is today.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Jennifer Leggatt and Judy Anderson are the other two Co-Founders of Back The Blue K-9 Force. We have so many other volunteers who work to make Back The Blue K-9 Force a success. (if you think you want names I can send you a bunch) We also have businesses and clubs who do events to help us raise funds. The law enforcement departments send their K-9 units to events and they are the stars of the show.
Pictures of the three of us with Back The Blue K-9 Force, a Lt. and his horse and a Deputy with his K-9. The picture of the K-9 handler and dog with the lady are Mayor Stephanie Piko and Deputy Gordon Carroll with K-9 Arrow. The last picture is at an event at Chick-Fil-A a big supporter of Back The Blue K-9 Force. The horse picture is of Benelli and his partner Lt. Anselmi. The Deputy hugging his K-9 is Deputy Kelly Draper and newly retired K-9 Kilo.