The Milwaukie and Oregon City Police departments are looking for a little help from the community to fund K-9 units
Things are getting hairy at two local police departments.
Or maybe furry is the right word.
Oregon City just added its second K-9 unit to the police force this month, while the Milwaukie Police Department is holding a series of fundraisers that will move it closer toward the goal of reinstating a K-9 unit on the force.
Milwaukie Officer John Truong has spent the past several months quietly working toward his goal of raising $25,000 to restart the K-9 program. The money will pay for the dog, training for the officer and the canine, and necessary equipment. Troung is currently up to $23,000, and hoping that a weekend fundraiser at Purdy's Car Wash will help him reach his goal. On Saturday, March 29, Purdy's is donating $5 from every car wash to the K-9 effort. The car wash is located at 3075 SE Harrison in Milwaukie, and is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday.
The police department is also holding a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20, and are available at the Public Safety Building, 3200 SE Harrison St. Prizes include a Nintendo Wii, iPod Nano, and gift certificates and baskets from Red Brick Pizza, Target and Starbucks. The drawing is on March 31. There will also be a larger event April 24 at the Albertson's shopping center during which there will be a check presentation, K-9 demonstrations from the Clackamas County Unit and other activities.
Milwaukie Police Officer Kevin Krebs said the department's first K-9 unit disbanded in 1992 due to attrition and retirement of the dogs. Reinstating it will bring back a successful tool, not just for fighting crime, but for community outreach, he said.
'We can use it to search buildings like schools or a large area that's very dangerous or very difficult for officers to search,' Krebs explained. In addition, he said the community generally responds very positively to the dogs.
'Our ultimate goal is to reduce crime and to make people feel safer, and this does it,' Krebs said.
Anyone wishing to make donations to the program can contact the City of Milwaukie at 503-786-7555. More information can be found at http://www.ci.milwaukie.or.us
OC gets new unit
Oregon City decided to add a second dog to the department after they discovered that Titus, brought on in 2004, has a degenerative hip disorder. While Titus may continue to serve for several more years, he will likely see an early retirement, and the department decided to add a second dog.
Jagger - pronounced Yaeger - is a three-year-old Belgian Malinois from Germany. The Malinois is specifically bred to be a working dog for personal protection, detection, police work and search and rescue. Raised by Adlerhorst International, a Riverside, Calif.,-based company that trains police dogs, he arrived in Oregon City March 10. He's currently living with Officer Shaun Davis, who will be Jagger's handler. After a few weeks to bond, Davis and Jagger will go through a training program in April before hitting the streets as Oregon City's second K-9 unit.
Oregon City set aside $15,000 in this year's budget for the K-9 program, but the department is working to raise another $15,000 in funds for the remainder of the start-up costs.
The department has already received offers of free dog food and veterinarian services from members of the community.