Police launch $30K fund drive to buy and train K-9s

K9s

One police dog — such as former Crestview K-9 officer Rex, pictured guarding a suspect during a narcotics search and capturing an officer portraying a fleeing suspect — costs $15,000. The Crestview Police Department's 2013-14 budget doesn't include K-9 units, according to Chief Tony Taylor. Rex died in May.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 03:42 PM.

CRESTVIEW — The Crestview Police Department seeks residents and businesses' assistance to raise $30,000 to restore its K-9 unit.

Last year’s health-related retirement of K-9 officers Rex and Edo resulted in the unit's suspension. Rex died in May.

Police, faced with limited funds, now borrow a K-9 unit from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office or the state Department of Corrections.

The trained dogs are not always available, Crestview policeman Sam Kimmons said. “There’s been times we’ve needed to track a suspect and there’s no way to do it.”

A recent example was a February incident involving a possibly armed suspect in a residential area near North Okaloosa Medical Center. By the time a borrowed K-9 unit was able to get to the scene, rain washed away the suspect’s scent, Kimmons said.

ESSENTIAL SERVICES

“Canine teams are an essential component of any law enforcement agency,” Police Chief Tony Taylor stated in a fundraising letter.



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