PITTSBURGH — Sitting on a stool in front of a huge police badge painted on what Kaley Bastine calls her “police room,” the 8-year-old Natrona Heights girl shares the inspiration behind her fundraising for police.
“Brian Shaw,” Kaley simply says.
When the New Kensington Police Officer was shot and killed nearly three years ago, it moved Kaley. She was only 6-years-old at the time but she didn’t want to see any other officer suffer the same fate as Officer Shaw.
So she started having bake sales, car washes, and lemonade stands. Those helped her raise $20,000 for her local police department, Harrison Township Police.
Now she has her sights on Officer Shaw’s department. And one of his friends.
“Me and Officer Shaw were good friends work-wise and off work,” says New Kensington K9 Officer Joe Martino.
Officer Martino grew close with Officer Shaw, working together at two police departments. His partner, K9 Deuce, was donated by the foundation in Officer Shaw’s name.
They restarted the K9 unit within the New Kensington Police Department after about a dozen year hiatus. The pair has a donated SUV that is 10-years-old and is in and out of the shop.
“It has been kind of hard. It has been shutting off which is very dangerous for Deuce to be in the back,” said K9 Officer Joe Martino.
He says a K9 SUV can cost up to $55,000 dollars. So that’s what Kaley intends to raise.
“Because it supports them,” said Kaley.
She’s already raised $8,000 and is looking to raise more at a bake sale on Saturday, October 3. It’s from 1-4 p.m. at Movies Magill Grill in Lower Burrell.
“I think all the officers in the area that have met Kaley-I think she’s touched us in a way. It makes us appreciate what we do,” said Officer Martino.
As we wrap up the interview with Kaley, she says making a heart symbol with her hands, “Be safe, officers, and love you.”
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