Potomac State College Student Organizations Donate Protective Vest to K-9 Officer Aria

Potomac State College of WVU’s Criminal Justice (CJ) Club and Student Government Association (SGA) collaborated to raise funds in order to purchase and donate a customized protective vest to the College Police Department’s K-9 Officer Aria, who also assists other county agencies. Pictured from left are: Keyser’s Chief of Police Karen Shoemaker, SGA Vice President Jordan Twigg, CJ Club President Alicia Loy, PSC Canine Handler Sgt. Mike Cannon, PSC Police Chief Brian Kerling, and Mineral County Sheriff Jeremy Taylor

Pictured with K-9 Officer Aria are front row from left: Criminal Justice Club President Alicia Loy, Officer Chad Robinette, Canine Handler Sgt. Mike Cannon, Police Chief Brian Kerling, and Student Government Association Vice President Jordan Twigg. Back row includes Parking Officer Tom Burdock and Officer Jon Hudson.

Potomac State College of West Virginia University’s Criminal Justice (CJ) Club and Student Government Association (SGA) recently presented the College Police Department with a customized protective vest for K-9 Officer Aria. The two student organizations conducted fundraisers throughout the year to purchase the body armor.

Aria is an eight-year-old purebred German shepherd born in Germany and sent to the United States to be a police K-9. She has been with the College since 2009 and her handler is Sgt. Mike Cannon. Not only is she a valuable asset to the College’s Police Department, but also to the community. She assists other agencies and has been responsible for approximately 250 arrests throughout the county.

“K-9 Officer Aria provides more than just drug detection,” said PSC Police Chief Brian Kerling. “While she is very good at what she does in the criminal detection realm, she enhances our community relations by breaking the ice with people who would not normally be inclined to speak to a police officer. She is also a great help in comforting victims and making them feel safe.”

When asked why the CJ Club decided to support this project for a fundraiser, CJ Club President Alicia Loy explained, “A lot of club members and the advisors are dog lovers. This is our way of showing the Campus Police we appreciate what they do for us especially at a time when their profession is experiencing some ill will across the nation.”