GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WHNT) — A Florence Police Officer and his K9 partner were recently recognized for their contributions at an event in Gatlinburg that benefited a local autism awareness organization.

Florence Police Officer Chad Breedwell and his K9 partner “Atlas” went to the 2022 Ole Smoky National Police Collectors Show in Tennessee last weekend.

This year, Officer Breedwell tells News 19 that the Collectors Show chose the Smoky Mountain Autism Success Hub (SMASH) to be the recipient of all donations this year. Breedwell says SMASH is a nonprofit organization that helps families in the autistic community by offering social events in safe spaces, and classes geared directly toward helping those families.

Florence Police Department

Breedwell says they were able to donate $12,000 to SMASH through several fundraisers and donations that were made over the past several months.

Several law enforcement officers, agencies and nonprofit organizations from across the country came together to make the donation possible, Breedwell explained.

Along with Officer Breedwell and K9 Atlas, ATF Explosives Detection K9 “Sandi,” a chocolate Labrador, went to the event. Both dogs were able to spend time interacting with the hundreds of people there.

Breedwell says for anyone that wants to get involved and support SMASH’s cause, you can visit their Facebook page here, or contact the Florence Police Department at 256-760-6610.