Police raising money to replace K-9 officer

Sunday Times Newspapers

MELVINDALE — The Police Department will retire its K-9 officer soon, and two service organizations stepped up to raise money to purchase and train his replacement.

Mackey has been with the department for nine years and the department would like to see him retire soon. In order to make that happen, the city would have to find the money to purchase, train and properly equip the new dog.

The city is executing a debt elimination plan and does not have the money to purchase one. Officer Robert Kennaley took it upon himself to ensure the city will not have to spend any money. He and local service organizations are raising money to fund the training for Mackey’s $10,000 replacement.

The average police K-9 unit would cost a department somewhere between $7,500 and $15,000, depending on the training needed for the K-9 and handler.

Melvindale Moose Lodge 1911, 18931 Allen Road, hosted a spaghetti dinner fundraiser Oct. 5 to begin raising money toward those costs.

But, it didn’t end there Veterans of Foreign Wars has stepped up to help the department in November.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6032, 18275 Allen Road, will start its Iitalian dinner fundraiser at 6 p.m. Nov. 9. The dinner is $8 and will feature silent auctions and a raffle to raise additional money for the department.

Kennaley said the K-9 units are an essential part of the department because they are key in tracking missing children and locating and seizing narcotics. Drug forfeitures are necessary to fund much of the equipment and vehicles necessary within the department.

Police Chief Chad Hayse was approved by the council to begin taking bids to purchase two new police vehicles not to exceed $75,000. He said he was seeking to purchase Ford Tauruses or Ford Explorers to replace older vehicles in the fleet.

The purchases would have to be approved by the Public Safety Commission.

(Gabriel Goodwin can be reached at ggoodwin@bewickpublications.com.)