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A day in the life of K9 Det. Gibbs | On the Bright Side

In this week's On the Bright Side, Gabrielle Mediak shows us the impact the golden retriever is making on the Camp Hill community.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Monday through Friday, you'll find K9 Detective Gibbs at one of the schools in the Camp Hill District.

FOX43 tagged along with the 2-year-old golden retriever, School Resource Officer Joe Capers and about 100 of their closest friends at Hoover Elementary School.

"We try to greet the kids in the morning, just so they have a positive start to their day...which they usually do with him," said officer Joe Capers.

Gibbs can often be found in the classroom easing test anxiety and helping students smile.

"They love Gibbs. They love seeing him. They run up to him and pet him," said Capers. "It's just a great interaction between myself, Gibbs and the students."

Gibbs was brought on as an outreach dog to create connections within the district and community.

"if somebody was afraid to come up to a police officer before this, hopefully this kind of breaks that barrier and have somebody come up and talk to us," said Capers. "Even in the summer, kids in the community will come up to officers and say 'Where is detective Gibbs?' So it kind of just starts that conversation."

This outgoing pup was trained by Phoenix Assistance Dogs out of Lititz. The nonprofit connects service dogs with people in need.

Detective Gibbs joined the Camp Hill Borough Police Department last July.

He was connected with the school district in an unexpected way, through Honor #25. The nonprofit was created in memory of Jonathan Fagan, a 2019 graduate of Camp Hill High School.

"We lost him traumatically in August of that year to anaphylactic shock," said his mother, Alane Fagan. "It was a huge loss to the community and I wanted to do something in honor of him."

After creating a scholarship in her son's name, Fagan felt compelled to do more. Jonathan loved dogs, so she thought a service dog would be the perfect addition to the district.

"A dog that could work within the schools, to be there when something traumatic like the loss of a student would occur," said Fagan. "Or just to build camaraderie, friendship and connections."

Honor #25 stepped in and covers the cost of Gibbs’ care and maintenance.

And through his infectious personality, Gibbs is ensuring Jonathan's legacy lives on throughout the district.

"I see him and he's just this four-legged version of Jonathan," said Fagan. "A fluffy, four-legged, furry Jonathan walking around, just being with people making that connection."

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