KAYSVILLE — When a police officer's partner is a human's best friend, the bond can be special.
"He's more than a partner," Officer Matt Thurgood said. "He's part of the family for me."
The Kaysville Police Department got a surprise $1,500 donation for Thurgood's German Shepherd partner, Rex, allowing the department to buy the dog a Kevlar vest.
"We'll put them into incidents where you just never know what's going to happen to them," Thurgood said. "That's very scary for me because I love the dog."
The department got word that a member of the community wanted to raise funds for a K-9 vest several months ago. What surprised officers was that the donor was a sixth grader at North Davis Preparatory Academy.
"I really like dogs," said 12-year-old Cathryn Fitzpatrick. "I've got one, and I really like her. I've also got an uncle in law enforcement."
Fitzpatrick spent several months reaching out to the community through fundraisers at local businesses and online. Through her donation, Kaysville Police were able to order a Kevlar vest for Rex, which should arrive within a couple of weeks.
"I'm very proud of her," Thurgood said. "I think she's just an amazing inspiration for other students and other individuals out there to do good in your community."
Like Rex, Cathryn's dog Koda is a German Shepherd.
"She's like a sister to me," Fitzpatrick said. "I think it's very important because they could get injured, and you always want to make sure that there's less of a chance of that."