STAND T.A.L.L. recently expanded the role of their “Kids & Cops” program at the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County by facilitating a guest speaker in the organization’s Passport to Manhood program. This is a component of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s SMART Moves curriculum, which is designed to help youth prepare for challenges they may face while growing up and to provide them with tools and strategies that help these young people make positive, personal choices.

“After being informed that the Club has a specific program called ‘Passport to Manhood’ for young teenaged boys, we asked if there might be an opportunity to further engage uniformed, off-duty police with these young men to provide a unique real life perspective to them when they find themselves in a situation that involves dealing with police or other people of authority,” said Ron Kauffman, president of STAND T.A.L.L.

Ms. Bonnie Gibson of the Boys & Girls Club agreed with the concept and asked if STAND T.A.L.L. would arrange for an officer to speak at their September 26th class.  Funding for the presentation was approved by STAND T.A.L.L.’s Board, and Officer Keenan Nesbitt was brought in to lead that class. “The teens really enjoyed interacting with Officer Nesbitt, and I believe that they got a lot out of his presentation. If what was discussed helps any one of those young men avoid a future conflict, the class will have been considered a great success,” Gibson said.

Kauffman added that increasing involvement of law enforcement with the Boys & Girls Club is one of the goals of STAND T.A.L.L. “In the coming years, extending the presence of law enforcement at the Club from the current two days a week during the school year to five days a week will make the “Kids & Cops” program even more effective in providing security, mentoring, and the changing of attitudes while building better communications with the children that attend the Club on a daily basis. Our ability to do this is entirely dependent upon private donations and grant funding if we are to successfully achieve this as one of our Mission goals,” he stated.

On September 26, 2019 STAND T.A.L.L. along with the Henderson County Sheriff's Office held the
official grand opening of the new K-9 Agility Training Park. The funding for the materials to build the
park was achieved through donations raised by STAND T.A.L.L. , and the K-9 Agility Training Park
was constructed as a work project by the students of North Henderson High School's carpentry class.
Previously, training for the K-9s was done at various city and county locations with no permanent
struCture or area dedicated or designed to be used for the specific types of training these amazing
multi-purpose K-9s and their handlers need and wanted.


According to STAND T.A.L.L. president, Ron Kauffman·, "Months ago, our VP, Sharon Hanson asked
Detective Robert Pace of HCSO what he thought would be most helpful to the K-9 Corp. K-9 handler
Pace said that it would be great if they had a dedicated agility training park. Ms. Hanson saw an
opportunity to satisfy a need within the Sheriff's K-9 Corp and the idea was discussed with the HCSO
leadership. While they initially had not decided on a location, the project was deemed to be
worthwhile and important, so we got to work. Through some very generous donors of both dollars and
in-kind building materials, we were able to fully fund this unique K-9 train ing facility ."


In addition to revealing the new K-9 Agility Training Park, which will be made available to the HPD
and other department K-9 units, the Henderson County Sheriff's Office will be presented with a
$10,000.00 donation from STAND T.A.L.L. for the purchase and training of a new multi-purpose K-9
to join the Henderson County Sheriff's Office beloved K-9 team.


If the public would like to see the beautiful plaque that was presented to the HCSO with the names of
major donors to the K-9 Agility Park, it is on permanent display in the entry hall of the Sheriff's
Department at 100 Grove Street.
Sheriff Lowell Griffin said, "We appreciate the tremendous and ongoing support the HSCO has
received over the past years from STAND T.A.L.L. This new facility and the soon to be acquired new
K-9 will be a lasting tribute to their hard work and support. Today we're happy and proud to show
today's attendees some of the capabilities of our dogs ·when they are in the field , and how this new
facil ity will be utilized to maintain and enhance their future training."

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Henderson County's K-9 units have a new park to train at thanks to donations from the community and elbow grease from local students.

The grand opening was held Thursday for the Henderson County Sheriff's Office K-9 Agility Training Park, located behind the detention center. Funding for the materials was achieved through donations raised by the nonprofit Stand T.A.L.L. and was constructed by carpentry students at North Henderson High. The park consists of many basic wooden structures designed to teach dogs how to walk on and jump over various obstacles. One feature is a balance beam for K-9 units to walk along. There are also several obstacles that simulate a wall or fence for K-9s to jump over.

K-9 Officer Robert Pace said the agility training is vital for the dogs.

'If we don't get them ready for it now, then when the time comes that we need the dog to do his job, he's going to shut down,' said Pace. 'He's going to come to that obstacle and say 'I don't know what this is; I'm not going to go over it.' And we're going to be finished. I can't thank Stand T.A.L.L. and these students enough for what they've done for us.'

The Sheriff's Office held demonstrations for the media Thursday. While K-9 Ranger leaped over the walls with no issue, he struggled a bit on the balance beam. Pace said that obstacle is one of the hardest things they ask the dogs to do.

'It takes a lot of work to convince the dogs they're actually safe on this if they just trust us,' said Pace.

Training was previously done at city and county locations, with no permanent structure or areadesigned for K-9s and their handlers.The park will be open for the Hendersonville Police Department and other K-9 law enforcement agencies to use.

Stand T.A.L.L. President Ron Kauffman said that several months ago, the organization's vice president, Sharon Hanson, asked Pace what he thought would be most helpful to the K-9 corp. Pace said it would be great to have a dedicated K-9 park.

'Ms. Hanson saw an opportunity to satisfy a need within the Sheriff's K-9 corp and the idea was discussed with (Sheriff's Office) leadership,' said Kauffman. 'While they initially had not decided on a location, the project was deemed to be worthwhile and important, so we got to work.'

In addition to the park, Stand T.A.L.L. presented the Sheriff's Office with a $10,000 donation for the purchase and training of a new multi-purpose K-9.

StandT.A.L.L. also presented Pace with a plaque with the names of major donors for the K-9, which will be on display in the entry hall of the Sheriff's Office.

'We appreciate the tremendous and ongoing support the (Sheriff's Office) has received over the past years from Stand T.A.L.L.,' Sheriff Lowell Griffin said in a news release. 'This new facility and the soon-to-be acquired new K-9 will be a lasting tribute to their hard work and support.'- Andrew Mundhenk, Times News

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 As you may know, STAND T.A.L.L. is raising money to honor our commitment to the Henderson County Sheriff's Office to fund the purchase and training of the HCSO new K-9 dog. The commitment we made is for $10,000.

An anonymous donor has stepped up with a challenge pledge to match $5000 in donations from others specifically for the K-9 fundraiser, requiring us to first raise $5000 before s/he will match that amount.

Please help us meet our goal by contributing generously so we reach our $5000 target and can make this donation in the next few weeks to the K-9 corp of the Sheriff's Office. Donate here: https://www.paypal.me/thankacop

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STAND T.A.L.L. – Thank A Local Lawman, through the generosity of Firehouse Subs and its owner, Monte Sims, recently provided a “Thank You” lunch for the 50 staff members who have worked to supervise the more than 400 children who attended the Club’s daily summer camp program.

Most of these are part-time summer workers, and some were previous club members who sought to work this summer with the Boys & Girls Club. Other part-time staff is made up of college students and local area young adults who sought the opportunity to work with the children.

This is our second year of bringing a really great lunch to the hard working young people at the Boys & Girls Club. We’re thankful for our great relationship with Firehouse Subs who have partnered with us so we can provide a wonderful lunch and show our gratitude to this team for doing a great job with the kids.

Club Operations Manager, Josh Queen said, “These young men and women work at Club’s summer program because they enjoy the experience and really love the children. This has been great, and we really appreciate Firehouse Subs and STAND T.A.L.L. for recognizing our staff for the work they do, and making one of the last days of our summer program really special for all of us.”

“Kids & Cops” is our largest youth program and is about to begin its third year working with the Boys & Girls Club. We provide off-duty law enforcement officers to spend time with the children as mentors after school and during the summer camp, to open lines of communication with many of them who don’t know the “human side” of people of law enforcement. In addition, the presence of these officers provides additional security at the Club for both the children and staff.

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