Son's love for dad brings CHP new training area

Posted at 6:31 PM, Nov 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-11 22:00:21-05

SAN DIEGO - The California Highway Patrol unveiled its first training area dedicated to police dogs in Southern California, and it finally opened because of a local teen's love for his father.

The anticipation was obvious Friday on the face of the dogs and the people watching them train on the other side of the fence.

For 13-year-old Zachary Williams, it was a vision come true.

"I was actually pretty surprised when this actually happened," Zachary said.

Zachary made this happen. The CHP's first canine training facility in the region for police dogs was named for his father, CHP Officer Jonas Williams.

Officer Williams passed away in 2013 from complications after hip surgery. Prior to his death, he launched the project by building a fence around what was a dirt lot.

Zachary wanted to finish the training facility as part of his Eagle Scout project. He launched a GoFundMe page and raised about $7,000.

10News ran a story on Zachary's project in September, and another $1,500 came right in.

With some contractor donations and a little help from his mom Elizabeth, the $15,000 training center finally opened its doors.

"A lot of the officers have been so wonderful to Zach and I, and they keep telling him that he'll have to come back and see how it looks," Elizabeth Williams said.

When Zachary does return, he'll sit on the bench nearby bearing his father's name, marveling at their creation.