STRONGSVILLE – At just 8 years old, Brady Snakovsky is on a mission to serve and protect the officers he looks up to.
When this second-grader at Whitney Elementary grows up, he hopes to become a police officer, more specifically, a K-9 handler. He knows even at a young age that these officers face danger in the line of duty. And as an animal lover, he wants to do all he can for the canines that are often more vulnerable than the officer. So, he is raising money to purchase bulletproof vests for the K-9 cops of local law enforcement agencies.
Brady started raising money back in the fall with a goal of purchasing one vest, which costs $950.
Someone tipped off the Canadian company Line of Fire Defence Systems, which makes the vests, about Brady’s mission, so the company contacted him, willing to donate a vest to help Brady get started.
And he has done well, raising enough to purchase three more on his own by selling candy bars at his baseball games, setting up donation booths at school events and through a GoFundMe Page the family created for the cause. The four custom-fit vests, due to arrive any day, are being given to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Several area departments have since reached out to Brady also interested in a vest. Any money raised will be used to help these departments.
More than anything, Brady hopes to one day provide his own hometown police department with a vest when the time is right, possibly next year. The Strongsville Police Department would like to acquire a third K-9 unit in 2019.
Providing these vests is a project that’s close to the chest for Brady.
“Not a lot of K-9s can get the vests because they are pretty expensive. There are a lot of bad people that want to hurt them. I love K-9 officers. My stepdad, he’s a police officer,” Brady said.
“Brady’s asked him a thousand times to be a K-9 officer,” Brady’s mom Leah Tornabene smiles.
“I have a K-9 name picked out … Heavy. I think it’s funny,” Brady said, already daydreaming ahead to his own K-9 unit.
“He was really little when he came up with that name,” Mom adds.
As a mother, Leah said she couldn’t be prouder of her son and his heart for service.
“He’s very caring especially for his police officers here locally,” she said. “It just makes me feel good that he does want to give back and he supports those helping out in our community. There’s nothing better than helping out those that help us. I’m happy to see him reach his goals, and I hope that he’s able to help the Strongsville Department in the future because they are his favorite.”
Strongsville Police Chief Mark Fender appreciates Brady’s heart for service too.
“His eagerness and passion to raise funds for the purchase of a K-9 bulletproof vest is a gesture to be recognized. Brady’s parents must be proud. Even though we have no immediate need for a K-9 vest this year, we are hopeful to acquire a third dog in 2019 and outfit the K-9 addition with the help of young Brady,” Fender said.
Brady hopes the community will help him help those who are devoted to serving and protecting. Why is it so very important?
“Because they support you,” Brady said of officers.
To donate to the cause, visit Brady’s GoFundMe Page at gofundme.com/bradyk9vest.