The Clarke County Sheriff’s Department was awarded a grant from the CCDC to facilitate the purchase, training, and outfitting of a K-9 tactical unit.
Deputy Brian Akers is in the process of securing a dual-purpose canine from Canine Tactical in Chariton, Iowa, to better serve the communities of Clarke County. The dog, a female Belgian Malinois named “Sky,” will be trained to detect narcotics and to track people. This is essential for law enforcement along the I-35 corridor as well as the rural layout of Clarke County. The K-9 will be able to track and apprehend a suspect and locate missing people by scent. The narcotics she will be trained to detect include cocaine, heroin, black tar heroin, methamphetamines, and cocaine base used in manufacturing crack cocaine.
Along with purchasing the canine, Deputy Akers will be outfitting a brand-new vehicle with a canine cage designed specifically for K-9 units. The cage is split so contain the dog in one half and a suspect in the other half and is also equipped with sensors to monitor temperature and carbon monoxide readings inside the vehicle to ensure the safety of the dog. Another feature being installed in the car is an apparatus that will open the car door and deploy the canine when a button is pushed on the officer’s belt.
“This canine is going to be a game-changer for Clarke County,” said Deputy Akers. “With the potential to keep narcotics out of our community and make Clarke County safer for its residents, the K-9 unit will be invaluable to the department.”
The $16,000 grant from the Clarke County Development Corporation will supplement contributions from the county as well as the considerable funding Deputy Akers has raised on his own. The total cost for the K-9 unit including a new vehicle, the canine cage, the trained dog, training for Deputy Akers and other necessary equipment totals $66,000, with the biggest expense being the vehicle which was already planned for the department. Through his own fundraising efforts, Deputy Akers has already collected over $13,000 and has no plans to stop even after the canine is secured.
“The CCDC is happy to assist local law enforcement any chance we get,” said Bill Trickey, Executive Director of the CCDC. “This K-9 unit is integral to making Clarke County safer, which is always a win for our community.”
The letter to the right was sent out to local businesses and organizations by Deputy Akers as the initial part of his fundraising efforts for the K-9 Unit. You can click on the image to open a printable PDF to read more about the fundraising as well as details on how you can help support the new program.
For additional information about the new K-9 unit or if you would like to make a donation to the Clarke County Sheriff Canine Fund, contact Deputy Brian Akers at 641-342-2914. To find out more about Clarke County Development Corporation, contact Bill Trickey, Executive Director, by calling 641-342-2944.
This article was first published on http://clarkecountylife.com.