GPD K-9 program fundraiser hits $50,000

Foundation spearheading effort to add dog to department is half way to $100,000 goal
Ozaukee Press staff

In his quest to bring a “bone”afide K-9 program to Grafton’s Police Force, Chief Jeff Caponera told the Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, July 12 that the team is making progress.

“As of today, we hit the $50,000 mark,” Caponera said. “Actually, $50,050. And, the website is up and running and ready to accept donations.”

Posters requesting donations have been distributed around town. A QR code on the poster makes it easy to scan and donate from their phones. Donations can be dropped off between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Police Department or sent by mail.

“The Foundation is not surprised by the generous community support,” Patrick Brock, Grafton Police Public Information Officer said.

“Grafton and Ozaukee County are home to great businesses that support local efforts for projects like the Grafton K9 Foundation. We’re proud to live and work in a community that has residents who also have a personal interest and support for law enforcement -- they back the badge.”

The Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office and Cedarburg and Mequon police departments utilize police dogs, and neighboring police departments can make a request for a dog, but getting one is not always guaranteed.

“We’ve sent out requests to the Ozaukee Sheriff, Mequon, and Cedarburg and no dog was available,” Brock said.

“The reason varies — no K-9 on duty; not able to send due to agency’s own calls for service; not available to respond within time constraints, or, K-9 limitations.”

Brock estimates they have gotten dogs about 40% of the time when requested. Having one of their own will increase efficiency.

Specially trained police dogs are used as a visual deterrent to threats. Their advanced sense of smell can detect what a human can’t. Police dogs are often used in SWAT situations.

The Grafton Police K9 will come with a list of impressive credentials.

“Ours will be a dual purpose K-9 that will be certified in narcotics detection and tracking/apprehension,” he said.

“This K-9 will be able to search for missing adults and children lost or suffering in a medical emergency. The dog will supplement officer efforts when searching buildings or to track persons who flee law enforcement either prior to arrival or during the course of a call for service.”

If $100,000 seems like a lot of money, its because it has to cover all the necessities.

“It will include the purchase of the dog, training for the handler, portable and permanent kennels, a K-9-specific squad car outfitted with everyday law enforcement equipment plus specialty equipment such heat and carbon monoxide alarms and a K-9 insert for the rear seat.”

Brock said funds will also be set aside for a dog-worthy bullet proof vest, overtime to cover K-9 handler responsibilities, calls for service and of course veterinary care, equipment, supplies, toys and treats.

“We are getting closer and closer to where we need to be,” he said.

A “tail” gate party featuring McGruff the Crime Dog, squad car tours and games, plus brats, burgers and more will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18 in the Sendik’s parking lot at 2195 First Ave.

“This will be a day of fun interactions for kids and families,” Brock said. “We hope people will pop in and stay for awhile.”

Brock said the chief is working out the details for selection of a new K-9 handler, hopefully to be selected in the next month or so.

“We are determining how to do the supervision of the program,” Caponera said.

“It’s a big task to start a new program like this, and the more I dig, the more I find there is to do.”



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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