CARBONDALE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — If you listen closely you can hear these children chanting the name ‘Axel’ over and over again. That’s because they got to see their favorite police canine on Monday. Carbondale Elementary School held an assembly to announce the winners of the ‘Nickels and Dimes to Help Fight Crimes’ fundraiser. The fundraiser was organized by the Dragwa family.
“From Monday to Friday we came in and all the children brought in coins of any type, nickels, dimes, pennies, whatever,” Officer Robert Williams, Axel’s handler, said.
Each class competed to collect the most coins. At the end of the week, the coins were weighed, and whichever class had the heaviest collection would win first place, earning a pizza party with Axel and a goodie bag with coupons and prizes. Officer Robert Williams, Axel’s handler, says he was surprised at how many coins the school gathered in 5 days.
“This community is very tight knit so I expected a great support for them. But not what we got. They were onboard with them,” Wiliams said.
The school collected close to 1800 pounds of change which added up to more than 7,000 dollars. Williams says the police department will use the new fund to buy Axel food, which he has done himself up until now, and a new harness that will help him be seen in the dark.
You’ll notice Axel is not your typical police canine. He’s a Giant Schnauzer and Williams says he was picked because he was more approachable.
“It’s funny because all these kids they come up to him and grab his ears and then play with his ears and think he’s so cute.”
But Axel still does his normal police canine duties. Williams says events like this alongside Axel also help create a connection between police officers and kids too.
“I think they see us in a different light now. They see axel obviously and then they see that we’re not… We’re approachable. Just like he’s approachable, we’re approachable as well. You know we’re laid back, just a regular person with a uniform on,” Williams said.