TAMPA, Fla. — A Polk County 14-year-old has done something great for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO). David John raised more than $10,000 to purchase safety devices as part of an Eagle Scout project.

What You Need To Know

  • 14-year-old David John respects law enforcement and loves dogs 

  • John raised more than $10,000 for Guardian Angel safety beacons to be worn by Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) K-9 teams  

  • The safety beacons emit infrared signals that are seen by an aviation search unit if the K-9 team needed to be found  

  • John was awarded his Eagle Scout on Jan. 2 for his successful fundraising project

John combined his respect for law enforcement and his love of dogs for the project.

“I love dogs. I have two dogs myself and they are super fun to interact with and play around with,” John said.

The safety devices are Guardian Angel beacons worn by the K-9 unit — both the people and the dogs. The beacons emit an infrared signal that might allow a search team or chopper to spot the K-9 team if, for example, they got stranded in a wooded area while searching for a suspect.

“This is going to keep us safe for a very long time. If our radio goes down, the aviation unit can find us very easily,” said Deputy Jacob Owen.

John got to meet Sheriff Grady Judd while he worked on the fundraiser. The sheriff’s office posted something about the project on its social media and that spurred some of the donations.

When John started his Eagle Scout project, he wasn’t sure how it would go, but he’s thrilled with the way it turned out. “And it’s made me really happy with all the support that I have gotten from everybody around my county.”

Deputy Warren is inspired by John’s efforts. “Any kid, if you put your mind to something, you can do anything you want to,” he said.

John purchased 65 of the beacons, 80 clips and eight extra large igloo coolers for PCSO bloodhounds. He also donated $3,000 to Polk Sheriff’s Charities.

John has an Eagle Scout tradition in his family. His grandfather, father and an uncle are Eagle Scouts. John was awarded his Eagle Scout rank on Jan. 2.