Four dogs make up the K-9 corps for Santa Clara police and their newest edition will be "Argo". He's being added to the pack thanks in part to a gift from the Sean M. Walsh K-9 Memorial Foundation.
ABC7 News spoke with Cheryl Walsh, the president of the foundation, by phone. "My son Sean, his dream was to be a K-9 cop," she said.
Sean was killed in action in Afghanistan last November. He was a military policeman with the National Guard outfit out of San Jose. But before his military service Officer Chris Bell met Sean when he was an explorer with the Santa Clara Police Department.
"He was always very inquisitive about the dogs and made it quite clear that his plan was to become a K-9 handler," Bell said.
Sean died at age 22, but what his mom says what she will not let die is his desire for public service and his dream to be a K-9 handler. Last Tuesday during a city council session, she gave a $10,000 donation to the city of Santa Clara.
The donation allows for a replacement K-9 for the Santa Clara Police, and for Sean's legacy to continue.
"Ciro" was retired from the police force last month. His replacement, Argo, will hit the streets later this summer.
"We met Argo through his handler, Officer Gratney and what a perfect team, what a perfect team to honor my son's memory," Cheryl said.
In a time when police departments are seeing tight budgets, the hope for Walsh's foundation is to continue helping local departments with the costs associated with keeping their K-9 units.