The fuel for our launch came in the winter of 2009 in the form of a little boy with a terminal illness. Jesse Bright Glaser was a brave little boy from West Deptford, N.J. who was stricken with brain cancer. Jesse made mention how much he loved dogs, more specifically Police Dogs.
Several K-9 handlers learned of his plight and offered to help bring him a little happiness. After a long stay and fight in the hospital, Jesse finally came home. A few days later on a sunny but cold day in December, a fairly large K-9 demonstration for Jesse took place right in the front yard of Jesse's Grandmom's house in Wenonah, N.J.
That day, he sat in his wheelchair and he was covered by a blanket and surrounded by the love of his family and several police officers. Even Mantua Twp. Police Chief Rodney Sawyer was there and made Jesse "The Chief" for the day presenting him his uniform hat. It was a memorable event and the handlers who participated will never forget it. Jesse made an immediate impact on all of us that will last forever!
Sadly, two weeks later, the same handlers and their K-9 partners marched single file through his memorial service to pay him the highest respect that they knew how. When the time came to make the final journey home, several marked Police K-9 cars led by Chief Sawyer on his Police Harley Davidson made sure that Chief Jesse got the escort that he deserved! K-9 teams remained on scene to make sure Jesse got safely home and left only when we knew he was now home safe and in good hands. (We like to think that all that "Cop" activity brought a smile to his face)
Gloucester County Police K-9 handlers had only needed a reason to start this organization and Jesse came in to our lives. So the GCPK9A was started and we owe honor and thanks to "Chief" Jesse and the Glaser family.
From left to right standing: Nick Dibiasio, Darren White, Carrie Rathoff, Dan Eliasen, Bill Rogers, MIke Franks, Jason Gerle, Johnny Hertz (Jesse's Brother), Butch Moore, Tony Decicco, Kyle Riepen, Cliff Trovillo, Tom Redmen, Ray Giordano, Phil Owens
Kneeling left to right: Chief Rodney Sawyer, Jeff Ferry, Chief Jesse Bright Glaser "Our Hero" and Mike Marsh
Through our organization, we plan to raise funds which will be used to assist the families of fallen officers and fallen K-9's, assist police departments needing to replace retired K-9s, we will always honor Jesse's memory as he is the reason why we started