Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon Police Department is in the midst of a fundraising effort to acquire money to purchase and train a police K-9 for the department.
Chief Scott Burtch says the fundraising effort is going well thus far.
(As above) “So far it’s going very well. We’re about $14,000 and then hopefully when we get that match at $15,000, we’ll get the anonymous donor to step forward. So that should put us close to about $30,000 total so far.”
Burtch says the total dollar amount needed is still a ways off, however.
(As above) “We put the number at around $40,000….should be able to cover it. Of course you’ve got your ongoing expenses. We had a local business step forward and said that they could probably donate the food for us. So that would be a huge expense that would help us out.”
NOTE: Shortly after this story was posted, Chief Burtch told KIWA that another donor had come forward Friday morning, which brings the total amount donated over the $15,000 figure that would trigger the match from an anonymous donor.
The Chief says they’ll actually be buying the dog fairly soon.
(As above) “This January…probably here in a couple of weeks…we’ll actually purchase a dog and then receive the dog in March, then we’ll start training. The dog should be ready this summer.”
He says Sheldon’s need for a K-9 was illustrated in a case earlier this week in which a dog was needed to track a burglary suspect. When one was requested, Sheldon authorities learned that the closest available K-9 was two counties away.
(As above) “So, you know we had a burglary suspect the other morning and unfortunately K-9’s aren’t on all the time, they’re like anybody else, they get breaks, too. So just for how big an area we have to cover, not only with our town, but we’ll help out with other places the same as other departments will help us out. There’s been several incidents since I’ve been here that we could’ve used a K-9. So there’s definitely a need for it here. Not only the drugs, but also the tracking and apprehension.”
Many law enforcement K-9’s are specialty dogs…tracking, or narcotics detection, or apprehension. Burtch says Sheldon’s K-9 will be a multi-purpose animal, or what is normally termed a “patrol dog.”
(As above) “The dog would be used for tracking purposes and also for apprehension. The dog could be sent into buildings to search a building, or be sent into an open field to search a field and it’s going to do it a lot quicker and a lot more efficient than we can. The dog will be trained for specific odors for narcotics. I know some people are worried that we’re just going to start sniffing every car out there, but that’s not the case. We’ll still have a reason to deploy the dog.”
Tax deductible donations are still being accepted to help cover the cost of the Sheldon Police K-9, and the Chief expressed his thanks to those who have, or will, donate.
Again, donations are tax-deductible, and may be made out to the Sheldon Police Department K-9 Fund, and mailed to:
Sheldon Police Department
P.O. Box 276
Sheldon IA 51201