We’re teaming up with Dignity Health Mercy & Memorial Hospitals to honor first responders.
It’s part of our Kindness Behind the Shield campaign reported on by Tabatha Mills.
The McFarland Police Department is being honored for the kindness displayed while sharing a new story with children in the community.
It’s part of a campaign to bring the community closer with the police department while also inspiring youngsters to succeed.
It all centers around Mirko, a five-year-old Sable German Shepherd now on duty for the department.
Mirko is the inspiration behind a new children’s book, Miriko the Miraculous K-9.
Written by Angela Barton, President of the Kern County Law Enforcement Foundation, the book was published with a few goals in mind.
The first, to bridge the gap between the police department and the community it protects, eliminating fears children may have about law enforcment.
“I remember being a kid myself and you didn’t really know if you could talk to police officers or say hi because they looked so official,” said Chief Scot Kimble, McFarland Police Department.
It seems like the first goal is being met.
“Because Mirko is a pretty good dog,” said Abel Rivera, 4th grade students at Kern Avenue Elementary.
“Because I’ve never seen a police dog ever in my life,” said Eduardo Pruneda, another 4th grade student.
“He’s a good happy lovely dog,” said Dianna Castaneda, also a 4th grade student.
The book takes youngsters on a journey from where Mirko was born in Germany to the day he landed in America, unable to understand English, scared and nervous to start his new job.
Which highlights another goal of the story – to inspire.
“When we hear stories of people succeeding it comforts us and reasures us we can do the same thing right because all these youth here, they’re all young champions so it’s exciting to spend time with them and encourage them,” said kimble.
The McFarland Police Department is also in need of a new K-9 vehicle for Mirko.
The vehicle will cost roughly $35,000.
Proceeds from book sales will go towards buying the new vehicle.
If you’d like to buy the book, it’s $10 and can be purchased here: www.MirkoTheMiraculousK9.com.
If you know of someone in law enforcement, a firefighter, paramedic, or dispatcher who deserves to be honored, nominate them here.