The Ohio County Sheriffs Department met over 100 Wheeling Park Day Campers, showing them their cruisers, critical response vehicle, and everyone's favorite - a K9 Deputy.
The kids not only got to pet and interact with K9 deputy Cruz, they learned about what Cruz does to keep their families safe, and for many campers it was the first time they have been this close to a K9 Deputy.
"I was a little bit nervous when he came over and we were going to pet him because he was growling a little bit, but then he said that he wouldn't bite so then I wasn't nervous anymore," said 7th grade camper Suzanna Bruney.
K9 Handler Deputy Rich White said giving kids a basic knowledge of what a K9 unit does is one of his favorite parts of his job. His K9 Cruz demonstrated a drug search, where he found heroin, but he found time to relate to the kids by playing ball and some belly rubs too.
"A lot of our working dogs here in the area, they're are able to change that mindset really quick. From play, to work, to laying on the grass and letting kids pet their belly," said K9 Handler Deputy Rich White, Ohio County Sheriffs Department
Camper Hayden Coyne said she was impressed by how hard K9 Cruz works.
"That like he trains him everyday and he was born in the capitol of West Virginia," said 5th grade camper Hayden Coyne.
Deputy White said he hopes the demonstration shows the kids the fun side of law enforcement.
"Unfortunately, there's bad things that happen in our society and we don't want children to ever feel a level of discomfort around us. We want them to feel comfortable approaching us and talking to us," said Deputy White.
The kids said they not only see K9 Cruz as a new furry friend, but a protector.
"That like it's not scary at all that they protect us and all that, said Coyne.
"The dog it makes you feel secure and that you don't have to worry that any bad people are out there," said Bruney.