Three Boy Scouts on the Treasure Coast have provided the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office with a special place to honor their fallen K-9s. Boy Scout Jayce Masters, whose father, Sgt. Shawn Masters, was the handler for three K-9s that worked for the sheriff’s office, spearheaded the project along with two other Boy Scouts, Derek Boyer and Ashton Teague. This initiative has now immortalized their late furry friends with a well-deserved tribute.
The memorial, located outside the sheriff’s office administrative building, serves as a testament to the dedication and sacrifice of these K-9s. Sgt. Shawn Masters, a long-time K-9 handler with the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, emphasized the significance of the memorial, highlighting the debt of gratitude law enforcement agencies owe to these loyal companions. He stressed the importance of recognizing the tireless work these dogs do every night to protect their handlers and remove evil from the streets.
The pedestal of the memorial bears the engraved names of all the former K-9s, with a special star denoting those who died in the line of duty. The completion of this project, which took over a year, is a tremendous achievement for the three Boy Scouts. Jayce Masters, an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America Troop 422, stated that his role was to fundraise over $40,000 for the statue. Derek Boyer, another Eagle Scout from the same troop, emphasized the discipline and hard work required to undertake such a project, including reaching out to numerous companies for support. Ashton Teague, also an Eagle Scout from Troop 422, described the painstaking process of building the pedestal and pouring the concrete.
The memorial not only pays tribute to the fallen K-9s but also serves as a symbol of the dedication and perseverance of the Boy Scouts involved. Achieving Eagle Scout status, the highest rank in the organization, is no small feat. Sgt. Shawn Masters highlighted that less than 3% of all youth who join scouting ever attain this prestigious rank. The project undertaken by these three Boy Scouts exemplifies the commitment and hard work required to earn this honor.
The impact of the K-9 memorial extends beyond its physical presence. It serves as a reminder to the community of the critical role these dogs play in law enforcement and the sacrifices they make to keep their handlers and fellow deputies safe. The memorial honors all 64 K-9s that have served the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office since 1981, leaving a lasting legacy in the community.
In conclusion, the dedication and efforts of Boy Scouts Jayce Masters, Derek Boyer, and Ashton Teague have resulted in the creation of a significant memorial for the fallen K-9s of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office. This project showcases the perseverance and commitment of these young individuals, as well as the importance of recognizing the invaluable contributions of K-9s in law enforcement. The completion of the memorial stands as a lasting tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of these loyal companions.