The Oakdale Police Canine budget is slightly healthier thanks in part to a generous donation from Gary and Bonnye Spray on behalf of their late daughter Amanda.
“Over the years, she got to know many of the officers as her friends,” Bonnye Spray said when presenting a $1,000 check to the City of Oakdale.
Amanda Spray, a 2006 OHS graduate, died in 2007 when the car she was driving went off the highway and plummeted nearly 50 feet to the ground in French Camp. The cause of the accident that cost her life was texting while driving.
“Over the years, we’ve been trying to make her name known,” Bonnye added when making the presentation.
The Sprays said there had been money left in one of Amanda’s bank accounts and they had been trying to think of what to do with it. She said she had been talking with Oakdale Police Officers Blake Ebbert, a K-9 handler with the department, and learned he knew Amanda when he went to Oakdale High School.
“I knew then the money would go to the department’s canine program,” Bonnye said. “I’m so pleased they brought (the canine program) it back.”
When accepting the check, Police Chief Lester Jenkins said the act was very touching.
“I’ve known the Sprays for many years,” Jenkins said. “It’s hard to comment, but this is another fine example of how this town pulls together.”
Jenkins said the money would contribute to keeping the program active.
In December 2013, the department reestablished its canine program after a six-year absence. The department had to cut the program in 2007 for budget reasons, but a $16,500 donation from Steves Chevrolet Buick in Oakdale brought it back to life.
The latest contribution will help bolster the K9 coffers once again, with two active K9 units in service with the department.