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August 2022 Guardian Angel Winners

August 2022 Guardian Angel Winners

Posted by Shelly harris on 26th Sep 2022

I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression “Dog Days of Summer”, but do you know where this phrase comes from?

Between July 3rd and August 11th each year, these HOT summer days get their name from an ancient Roman belief that the brightest star in the night sky, Sirius (dog star – named after one of Orion’s hunting dogs), in the constellation Canis Major (greater dog), combined its power with the Sun, creating the hottest most humid days of the year.

Actually, it all has to do with the tilt of the Earth causing the Sun’s rays to hit more directly in the Northern Hemisphere for longer periods of the day, resulting in longer, hotter days, and has nothing to do with your dog choosing to laze around next to his water dish, panting,

So, in honor of completing another series of “Dog Days”, let’s recognize these canine handlers!


#1 Ryan Bethea | K-9 Officer

My name is Ryan Bethea I work for the Dillon County Sheriff’s Office located in South Carolina. Dillon County is one of the state’s most violent counties per capita. I have worked with Dillon County since 2017, and in 2021 got placed on the violent crime/narcotics task force. I also am a bloodhound handler in the county. My time off consist of training my K-9 partner and preparing her for when it’s time to go to work. Myself and my K-9 partner are always on the edge knowing that we may get a call to come out and go on a track to look for someone at any point of the day whether it be a lost patient with dementia, a lost kid, or a murder suspect. We prepare daily to put ourselves in harm’s way to help the citizens of this County not become another statistic. By wearing Safe Life Defense armor, I will be able to put myself in situations to help others who are victims of violence, assaults, and any other crimes within this county with a sense of security.

I do this job out of compassion for the community, I do this job to see the smile on people’s faces when they are able to get their stolen items back, or get closure when I am able to place a suspect into jail. I work this job not to get but to give and giving my all to law enforcement, my community, my brothers, and sisters in blue means the world to me.


#2 Dillion Tschrnko | K9 EMS/Search & Rescue

As a paramedic with a tactical medic certification, I am able to respond to scenes that are not “safe” to help the critically wounded. Having body armor is just an extra safety step to protect myself and others.

I work as a Search and Rescue Technician, K-9 Handler, Volunteer Firefighter and Paramedic in both rural and metropolitan environments. I have dedicated my life to public service, and I want to ensure that I am able to stay safe while saving others. I love helping others.


#3 Christopher LaFleur | K-9 Officer

I began devoting my life to public service as a teenager. I began as a junior fireman, then volunteer fireman, EMT, and currently work as a Sheriff’s Deputy. 19 years ago, vests were frowned upon and not popular because they were so uncomfortable. I always wear my vest and it sets the example for the younger and even older officers to always protect yourself. Give you every opportunity to win so you can continue to fight for others.

I have lost a significant amount of weight over the last two years. The vest that was issued by my agency was too large and ironically expired. I am currently issued soft armor from our supply room. The vest is 10 years old and the best available.

Owning armor just isn’t enough. Actually, wearing it is what means something. Having equipment you are confident in increases your confidence and productivity.