APPLETON – Thanks to a big donation, the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department is planning to expand its K-9 program.
But not all departments can afford them.
Enu has been with the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department for 7 1/2 years. And the department’s oldest canine officer made an immediate impact.
“Her actual first deployment ever was a missing 10-year-old boy and we found him not too long after we set out to look for him,” said Deputy John Westphal.
But funding the dogs can be costly. Departments can spend anywhere from $10,000-$20,000 to purchase and train a detection dog.
Sheriff Brad Gehring says Outagamie County has always paid for its canine’s through its budget. Gulfstream gave the department a $10,000 donation Wednesday to help add a second drug-detection dog.
Todd Skarban is the head of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Canine Handler Association and he says paying for the dogs can be tricky.
Skarban is also a K-9 officer with the Oconto County Sheriff’s Department, he says departments budget for canines if they can, but are happy to accept donations from organizations willing to donate.
“If you don’t have the money for that in your budget, but there is an absolute need for it, you shouldn’t have to put it on the community but in today’s day and age you don’t want to lose something and supplement it with the K-9 program.”
A program law enforcement agencies around the state say has earned its keep.