COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — The South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame has announced plans to create a memorial that will honor K-9 officers killed in the line of duty in the state.

The Department of Public Safety announced plans for the memorial in a news release on Tuesday.

The first phase will include a display at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame. The later phase will include wall plaques, video displays and a bronze K-9 statue.

“This is really something we’ve been looking to do for a long time,” said Jim McClary, the Hall of Fame administrator. “The law enforcement community in South Carolina loves their canine officers. The bond between the canine and the handler is a truly special one and we hope to capture that sentiment with an appropriate exhibit.”  

To accomplish the project, the Hall of Fame is accepting donations to a K-9 Memorial Fund. McClary said the completion of the memorial depends on the amount raised by donors.  

“We couldn’t do what we do without support from both law enforcement and the community,” McClary said. “So, we’ve started accepting donations to help us build the memorial and make sure it’s done right.” 

Once completed, McClary said there will be a process for K-9 officers to be added to the memorial.

Hall of Fame staff members will reach out to law enforcement organizations and agencies across the state for nominations. McClary said the process is similar to the nominating process for the annual Law Enforcement Officers Line of Duty Induction Ceremony. 

Anyone who wants to support the memorial fund can send a donation to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame, 5400 Broad River Road, Columbia, SC 29212. “K-9 Memorial Fund” should be in the memo line.

More information is available on the South Carolina Department of Public Safety’s website.