Vance: A Special Gift to Palm Springs Police
A new police dog is protecting the streets of Palm Springs.
That's thanks to a Palm Springs woman who spent years raising money to buy him for the police department.
Wednesday night the city council honored the late Jill Hutchinson.
She spent years collecting donations, bottles and cans to purchase a K-9 for the Palm Springs Police Department.
Sadly, she passed away in April 2011 from cancer, but her selfless work is now a part of the police force.
Vance is a very special canine indeed.
A gift to the police, fighting crime in Palm Springs.
Vance graduated canine academy in July.
"We're dispatched to all the high priority calls and we're the first in line for everything, it's really fun, it's really rewarding and so far it's been the most aspect in my career," said Officer Matt Crampton with Palm Springs Police.
City council honored the family of Jill Hutchinson -- the woman who worked so hard to donate a K-9 to police.
"She was my best friend, an incredible person when I met her in 1978, I knew she was the one but it took a couple of decades for us to finally hook up out here in the Coachella Valley," said Jonny Bruce, Jill Hutchinson's husband.
And Jill had a special reason for wanting the K-9 to be named Vance which is her father's name, and her middle name.
"During the proclamation ceremony at city hall in December of 2010, Jill went on to say that she wanted to name the dog Vance because her father had the nerve to make her middle name Vance, and she wanted someday for somebody in authority to tell him what to do," said Sgt. Mike Kovaleff with Palm Springs Police.
Vance trains every day with Officer Matt Crampton, and returns home with him after every shift -- a part of the family.
"He's goofy, I don't know if it's maybe part of the personality that was in Jill's father, the reason why she wanted to name him Vance after her Dad, I look at him everyday, and he looks like a Vance," said Officer Crampton.
And for Jill's family, seeing Vance as part of the police family, is a special gift.
"I was teary when I saw Vance, because it was the fulfillment of her dream, just a wonderful moment, I wish she was still around to see Vance," said Bruce.
Police canines are very expensive; Jill Hutchinson raised over 1,200 dollars to help make the purchase of a new K-9 possible.