By John Butters, The JOURNAL
The Washington Police Department will soon be without its K-9 officer as the eight-year member of the force is set to retire.
Officer Brett Sorrels, along with his K-9 counterpart, Ultro. While a service dog is not always retired with the handler, in this case the dog was due for retirement, the police department said.
To fill the duo?s position, the police department has launched a campaign to raise $22,000 for the purchase of a dual-purpose K-9 from Vohne Liche Kennels. The money will also provide a six-week training course for new handler Seth Adam as well as purchasing some new equipment.
The new K-9 would be the third police dog to serve the department. Ultro was preceded by Rex, the K-9 officer who started the program in 2001 with Officer Brett Sorrels.
Sorrels and his two K-9 officers have removed more than $1 million in drugs from the City of Washington and surrounding communities since the program began.
The dogs are trained in narcotics detection, building and area searches, handler-protection and tracking and suspect apprehension. During their service, the dogs have been called upon to assist federal, state and surrounding law enforcement agencies.
The police department said the fundraising would cover the entire cost of the dog and the training involved in fielding it. No tax dollars would be used to pay for any of the program expenses. To reach their goal, the police are asking the community to support them with private and corporate contributions. Donations can be hand delivered to the police station or mailed to the department. An officer can also be dispatched to a residence to pick up a contribution.
The checks can be made out to the Washington Police Department K-9 fund. The donations are tax-deductible and a thank you card with a tax identification number will be returned for all donations. Contributions can be mailed to K-9 Program, 215 East Washington Street, Washington, IA, 52353.