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Boy Scouts spearhead creation of memorial to honor St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office K-9s

'It's important because we owe these dogs a debt of gratitude and recognition for all the service they provide,' Sgt. Shawn Masters says
Three Boy Scouts in St. Lucie County on Oct. 27, 2023, unveiled a new K-9 memorial dedicated to dogs who served with the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office.
Posted at 10:39 PM, Oct 27, 2023

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — Thanks to three Boy Scouts on the Treasure Coast, the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office now has a place to honor their fallen K-9s.

Boy Scout Jayce Masters has lost three K-9s who worked for the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office. His father, Sgt. Shawn Masters, was their handler. 

Thanks to him and two other Boy Scouts, Derek Boyer and Ashton Teague, his late fury friends will forever be remembered with honor.

Sgt. Shawn Masters, a K-9 handler with the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, explains the importance of K-9s to law enforcement agencies and why they deserve a memorial of this magnitude.
Sgt. Shawn Masters, a K-9 handler with the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, explains the importance of K-9s to law enforcement agencies and why they deserve a memorial of this magnitude.

"It's a great accomplishment, and I'm really excited," Jayce Masters said.

The three St. Lucie County Boy Scouts made it their mission to build a K-9 outside the sheriff's office administrative building. The project will help them earn Eagle Scout status, the highest rank a Boy Scout can achieve.

"Less than 3% of all youth that join scouting make Eagle Scout," Sgt. Shawn Masters explained.

Jayce Masters explains his role in getting the K-9 memorial built.
Jayce Masters explains his role in getting the K-9 memorial built.

As a longtime K-9 handler with the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, the memorial is especially meaningful to him.

"It's important because we owe these dogs a debt of gratitude and recognition for all the service they provide, all the work they do," Masters said. "They go out every night, without fail, to protect their handlers, protect other deputies that are working to take evil off the streets."

The names of the former K-9s are engraved on the pedestal. The dogs that died in the line of duty have a special star next to their name.

The project took more than a year to complete.

Derek Boyer was among the Boy Scouts who helped achieve completion of the memorial.
Derek Boyer was among the Boy Scouts who helped achieve completion of the memorial.

"My role was the statue, to fundraise over $40,000 for the statue," Jayce Masters, an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America Troop 422, said.

"Doing something like this obviously takes a lot of discipline. It takes a lot of hard work," Derek Boyer, an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America Troop 422, said. "It was a lot, talking to a whole bunch of different companies."

"Getting all that concrete built-in and also building the pedestal under it ... it was a painstaking process," Ashton Teague, an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America Troop 422, said.

Ashton Teague discusses the hard work it took to make the K-9 memorial possible.
Ashton Teague discusses the hard work it took to make the K-9 memorial possible.

The year-long project honors all 64 K-9s that have served the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, dating back to 1981.

The memorial is prominently displayed in front of the sheriff's office administrative building.

Now that it's done, it's leaving a lasting impact on the community.