High Priced Police Dogs: How local police departments are raising money for K-9 units
BEAVER DAM, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A new K9 Officer is now working for the Beaver Dam Police Department.
Reagan is a 2-year old Czech German Shepherd who is replacing a Beaver Dam K9 that just retired.
In addition to K9 Reagan, BDPD also has K9 Yeti.
Yeti has been with the department since May 2016, and his work so far has led to more than 147 arrests.
“It's been the most enjoyable two years plus to have him with me in the car knowing he's got my back every night out there on the street,” Officer Kevin Hall, Yeti’s Handler, said.
Like K9 Yeti, K9 Reagan is now trained in narcotics detections, article searches, and tracking of people.
In just his first week on the job, K9 Reagan made four arrests.
“He's able to detect even trace odors of narcotics, something that we would never be able to smell,” Officer Brad Konkel, Reagan’s Handler said.
With about a 33% increase in the number of criminal drug charges from 2016 to 2017 referred to the District Attorney’s Office in Beaver Dam, Reagan's new skills will be put to use.
“We've seen a large amount of drugs being trafficked to our area and also through our area,” Officer Konkel said.
Although K9s are assets to a law enforcement team, they come at a great cost.
BDPD is now trying to raise $70-thousand to pay for Reagan.
“The cost for him and the training at Jessiphany Canine runs roughly $11-thousand,” Officer Konkel said.
There is also the cost of a new squad car with safety features for the dog. BDPD says that runs about $60-thousand.
Plus, Dr. Marla Lichtenberger, a Wisconsin Veterinarian, says the food and vet bills can add up to $10-thousand throughout the dog's working life.
“What they are able to do is worth all this money so we need to get funding for every single city in Wisconsin,” Dr. Lichtenberger said.
For many police departments, including Beaver Dam, there is no room in the budget for K9’s, and so most of the cost is raised through fundraisers and donations.
If you want to help Beaver Dam’s fundraising efforts you can e-mail Officer Konkel: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sheboygan Police Department is also fundraising to sustain their K9 program for the next 5-7 years. If you want to help them, they have started a gofundme.