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An outpouring of community support is keeping a local K-9 program going, and ensuring that a police dog will help fight crime for as long as possible.
We first told you about the effort about a month ago, when the Altoona Police Department asked the community for donations. WEAU 13 News helped spread the word since then, and on Thursday morning, people got their first look at the new K-9 truck.
Officer Matt McCoy says the Ford F-150 pickup is worth about $40,000 including the equipment and other modifications. The K-9 named Charlie will have more than twice as much space in the interior cage as he did in the old car.
The truck also has an automatic door opener so McCoy can release Charlie with a remote.
The campaign for the new truck brought in nearly $17,000 in about two-and-a-half weeks.
April showers will bring forth significant growth for the Blue Springs Police Department.
All joking aside, it isn’t rain that will be responsible for the new detective or K9 unit that will be in place in May and early summer, respectively, but a combination of citizen input and budget priorities.
Needless to say, police personnel from the chief down are looking forward to it.
“With a new detective, we’re hoping that the case load for the detectives we do have decreases a bit,” Chief Wayne McCoy said. “The additional detective will help us relieve heavy case loads.”
The arrival of a new detective in May (a position to be filled in-house) marks the first time in years that such a new position has been created. What’s more, whoever fills the position will see his or her vacated position filled by yet another officer later this year.
A local police department will be adding some bark to its force. Thursday night, the Altoona City (WI) Council approved the addition of a K-9 program to the city police department.
Officer Matt McCoy, who will work with the dog, says the department will be getting a male German shepherd. The dog is scheduled to come in February, and training will begin in March.
The K-9 and training are both paid for through a grant and donations, but the department is still looking for donations to cover the rest of the costs of the program.
Luke Davis was recognized last week for his daring action that helped Platte County Sheriff’s deputies apprehend a man suspected of leaving the scene of a dangerous accident.
Timothy McCoy was praised for helping authorities arrest a burglar who broke into a Platte County residence.
Last week, the Platte County Sheriff’s Department recognized those two men and several other persons as outstanding citizens. Three Parkville police officers also were honored for assisting the department on various efforts. The event was held last Wednesday at the Platte County Administration Building.
Sheriff Richard Anderson has said the awards are designed to recognize citizens and fellow law enforcement officers who perform tasks worthy of the public’s attention.
The Sheriff’s Department began the recognition about three years ago, although the awards were not presented last year, Anderson has said.
This year’s recipients were:
•Mark Malony of A&M Printing, who was recognized for his support of the Sheriff’s Department Kid Print Program. Malony has supplied the department with Kid Print fingerprint cards at no cost. The items were used at public safety and community events over the past 10 years.
The Kid Print program enables deputies to fingerprint children on a Kid Kit card at various community events. The card is given to a parent to attach a photo of their child so that the picture and print record can be used by authorities if their child is missing.
•Luke Davis was recognized for helping capture a suspect who fled the scene of an injury accident on Feb. 23, 2008. The suspect had run into a wooded area north of the accident scene. The deputies arrived and searched the area but were told that Davis, a tow truck operator, had located and apprehended the suspect.
Deputies soon showed up and found Davis detaining the suspect at gunpoint. The suspect reportedly approached Davis, who was inside of his vehicle.
•Timothy McCoy helped authorities capture James Vielbig, who was considered a dangerous felon.
On Feb. 11, 2008, McCoy was returning home when he saw a man wearing a stocking cap and carrying a bag walking down a road in rural Platte County.
McCoy arrived home and realized his residence had been burglarized.
While his wife called the Sheriff’s Department, McCoy got into his vehicle and drove back to the area to find the man he had just seen. McCoy later spotted the person running down a nearby road and duck behind a residence.
McCoy ran after the suspect and was able to detain him at gunpoint until sheriff’s deputies arrived. Deputies found two loaded handguns on the suspect.
Vielbig was later charged and convicted of burglary and stealing. He is currently serving 38 years in prison.
•Lynn Jordan was recognized for her support and assistance to a tactical operation on Dec. 28. Jordan is the wife of Parkville Sgt. Jon Jordan and co-owner of Growing Places Day Care.
Jordan had opened her day care center at 4 a.m. to allow the Sheriff’s Department to use a command post during an Operation 100. Two suspects were arrested, and multiple weapons were recovered.
Sgt. Jon Jordan and officers Timothy Heiman and Aaron Spring of the Parkville Police Department were recognized for their participation in a tactical operation that occurred on Dec. 27.
A Tampa police officer who rescued a woman in Old Tampa Bay and a Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy who ended a man’s bloody rampage are among 15 people being honored today for heroism, the governor’s office said.
The Governor’s Medal of Heroism is being awarded this year to 10 law enforcement officers and one firefighter for actions in the line of duty. Gov. Charlie Crist is attended the 11 a.m. ceremony in Tallahassee.
Officer Ryan Jurjevich received the award for his rescue Jan. 28 of a woman clinging to a piling of the Howard Frankland Bridge. Deputy Malachi McCoy is being recognized for fatally shooting a man who killed three people and wounded two deputies during a rampage June 7.
Also honored today were four people with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, including two brothers assigned to the Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center. Special Agent Supervisor Bob Ura and Special Agent Paul Ura received that agency’s Medal of Valor for disarming a gunman who opened fire in a Las Vegas casino in June 2007, wounding four people.rothers were in Las Vegas at the time to attend a wedding, officials said. They borrowed handcuffs from a hotel security officer to detain the man until Las Vegas police arrived.
by Josh Poltilove and Ray Reyes
TAMPA – A week ago, Deputy Malachi McCoy was reading the Bible and came upon Psalm 28:7. He was immediately drawn to one line in the verse: “The Lord is my shield.”
Using a silver paint pen, the son of a preacher inscribed those words on the black steel plate of his bulletproof vest.
On Saturday morning, during a gunman’s rampage in northwest Tampa that left three people shot dead and two Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies wounded, the Biblical verse offered additional protection, McCoy said.
“The bullets were coming past me,” he said. “For me personally, I was shielded.”
The shooter, Jorge Orlando Bello Garcia, had shot Deputy Arturo “Art” Lence in the lower torso and Deputy Raymond Wilson in the arm. The gunman, also known as George Bello, was scuffling with Wilson and trying to wrestle the deputy’s firearm away from him.
McCoy ran up and fired the final bullet that ended the shooting spree, the sheriff’s office said. Bello was fatally shot in the head.
“I’m sorry it had to happen,” McCoy, 28, said Monday. “But I’m glad I was there.”
The deputy, who has been with the sheriff’s office for almost eight years, said he could not go into details about Saturday’s shooting because it is under investigation. McCoy, who is on paid administrative leave, did say that what he had done has sunk in and that “I’m fine with it.”
“He already killed some people,” he said. “He tried to kill us.”
The deputy’s father, the Rev. Paul McCoy of Fellowship Bible Church in Zephyrhills, said although the Ten Commandments state “Thou shalt not kill,” his son simply did what he was trained to do.
McCoy, 71, said his son reacted instinctively because of his law enforcement training.
“I do believe that what Malachi was doing was a service to the citizens of the county,” said Paul McCoy, who spoke to the Tribune today during a trip to Nashville, Tenn. “That’s been his goal in his life – to be in law enforcement and to enforce the laws of the people.”
Malachi McCoy’s dream of being a cop started when he was 15 and a student at Leto High School in Tampa. That’s when he joined the sheriff’s office’s Explorer’s Post No. 238, a program that gives local youth an inside look at law enforcement.
McCoy went on a ride-along program with a patrol deputy and saw his career path clearly laid out in front of him.
“I got the bug,” he said. “That was it for me. Everything fell into place.”
After graduating from high school, McCoy became a community service officer for the county’s jails. He soon enrolled in the sheriff’s office academy and was a reserve officer. He became a full-fledged deputy in 2000.
“I was lucky enough to do the job I wanted to do,” said McCoy, who was at St. Joseph’s Hospital Monday visiting Lence, one of the wounded deputies. Lence is listed in fair and stable condition, sheriff’s spokesman J.D. Callaway said.
Paul McCoy said when he talked to his son about Saturday’s shootings, Malachi McCoy’s “concern was for the other two deputies. He didn’t want to see them injured any further.”
Malachi McCoy, who was named after an old testament prophet who told God’s people to repent of their ways, said he has received more than 50 phone calls of “unbelievable support” from friends and family.
He said his faith — and perhaps the Bible verse he wrote on his vest — has helped him through the ordeal.
“I just thought it would be kind of neat to write that on the steel plate,” he said.
The full reading of Psalm 28:7, the King James version, says, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”