The Coshocton County Beacon December 17, 2020 - Page 35

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December 17 , 2020 The Beacon • 35

West Lafayette Police Department to purchase K-9

By Jen Jones
Chief Matthew Fohl of the West Lafayette Police Department said he has been thinking about a K-9 for his department for a few months , but he set things in motion about a month or so ago . “ It takes so much time and planning to get a K-9 ,” he said .
First , a training facility needs to be chosen . “ There is a huge price difference in the facilities , and each one has advantages and disadvantages . I ’ ve been in contact with several . Most have classes starting April 1 , so I ’ m shooting for that date to have everything ready so our officer can start training that day ,” Fohl said .
Fohl also has to choose an officer to be the K-9 officer . This person will train for eight to 10 weeks with the dog . A vehicle needs to be outfitted for the K-9 , and equipment needs to be purchased . The department has
a goal of raising $ 25,000 for the unit .
“ The dog will cost about $ 10,000 . It will be imported and bred to be a working dog . To outfit the cruiser will be about $ 5,000 . Plus , we have to pay for the training , equipment and food /
hotel for the officer during their training . Most departments don ’ t have money for a K-9 in their budget ,” Fohl said .
Thanks to several fundraisers , community donations and possible grant money , the department should be able to purchase their dog as planned next year .
“ I ’ m working on applying for grants from different places right now , and Jessica Tubbs has taken over fundraiser plans . There is a Scentsy one , and Jason Blevins sold his gourmet hot dogs for another . I think
there is going to be a poinsettia one soon . I ’ ve been reaching out to every place we can think of . I have high hopes that we will reach our goal ,” Fohl said .
Cherie Reveal is the Scentsy representative holding the fundraiser for the department . “ A K-9 unit would be a wonderful addition to our police department . They are beneficial in tracking suspects , detecting drugs , finding missing people and an amazing partner for a K-9 handler ,” she said .
Reveal said her family has been in law enforcement for many years and that she
knows how expensive a K-9 would be . “ I offered to have a Scentsy fundraiser that will run through the end of December . Twenty-five percent of the sales will go to the department . It is a privilege to support our local police department ,” she said .
There is a Facebook
Thanks to several fundraisers , community donations and possible grant money , the department should be able to purchase their dog as planned next year . page called West Lafayette PD K9 Fundraiser where orders can be placed .
Fohl said once an officer is chosen , he and the officer will travel to the training facility and work with them to choose a dog . “ I want to be sure we get a community-friendly dog . Our dog will also be available if the sheriff ’ s department needs help or any county within a reasonable distance . Our K-9 won ’ t just benefit us ; it will help several communities ,” he said .
Fohl said he has been in contact with the K-9 handlers at the Coshocton
County Sheriff ’ s Department for advice and ideas .
Their K-9 will be crosstrained for narcotics and patrol work . “ I ’ m working really hard on the drug problem we have , and a K-9 will help . It will also be safer for our patrol officers as we often only have one officer on duty ,” Fohl said .
Anyone who would like to make a donation for the K-9 unit can do so by contacting either Fohl or Amy Bourne , fiscal officer for the village . Donations must be made by check for accountability purposes .
“ I was a K-9 handler in a small community . The dogs basically become the town mascot . Everyone knows and loves them . I just can ’ t thank the community enough for their amazing support and the donations we have received already . The support says so much about Coshocton County ,” Fohl said .

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