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West Lafayette Police Department to purchase K-9

| December 4, 2020

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 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,” said Fohl. 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,” said Fohl.

Cherie Reveal is the Scentsy representative that is 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.”

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.”  There is a Facebook page called West Lafayette PD K9 Fundraiser where orders can be placed.

Fohl said that 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.”  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 cross-trained 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.”

Anyone who would like to make a donation for the K-9 unit can do so by contacting either Chief 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,” said Fohl.

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