ROCK FALLS – Rock Fall police are raising money to reinstate the department’s K-9 officer program, four years after its last dog retired.
“It is our goal to once again have a trained police dog to bolster our capability to detect and intercept illegal narcotics in our community and to attack the illegal trafficking of narcotics and related crimes,” Chief Dave Pilgrim said in a news release.
It’s also the department’s goal to do so as economically as possible.
Helping in the effort: The department won a contest at FM K-9 Training Center of Berrien Center, Michigan, giving it half off the cost of a dog and the training of a handler, which will save $4,000 to $5,000, Pilgrim said.
Thanks to a donation of $5,563 from Rigler’s Sports Supply in Rock Falls, the dog and his handler, then, are covered.
What remains is the need for a vehicle specially adapted for a dog, with a kennel in the back seat and other modifications, such as a door than can be opened remotely if an officer needs his K-9 partner and can’t get to him.
K-9 officers are used for drug detection, search and apprehension, and officer protection, and also for community education, often doing demonstrations at schools, organizations and events.
Nero, a German shepherd, was 8 when he retired in October 2017, leaving the department when his handler, officer Scott Allspaugh, was hired by the Sycamore Police Department.
In addition to community donations, the department is applying for state and federal grants, and will be holding fundraisers throughout the year, including a Culver’s night on May 3, and a best-ball golf tournament at Deer Valley Golf Club, sponsored by the Rock Falls Police Department Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 215, tentatively scheduled for May 27.
To make a donation, or to hold a fundraiser, call Pilgrim at 815-622-1140, ext. 1247.
Source: The Daily Chronicle