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The police department wants to take a bite out of crime.
Police are saving money earned from offering concealed handgun classes to first responders and from community donations to purchase a K-9 unit, Police Chief Tim Bradberry said at a meeting Thursday. The police dog could help find drugs and nab suspects who are on the run.
“It would help protect the public,” he said.
A police dog and the required training for the handler cost $8,000 to $10,000, Sgt. Rick Hempel said. So far, police have raised about $2,000.
Officers have wanted a K-9 unit for years, but budgetary constraints forced them to table their plans, Bradberry said. But this year, officers certified as concealed handgun instructors decided to donate classroom earnings to police for the dog’s purchase.
So far, eight students, all first responders, have enrolled in the course, with more on the waiting list, Hempel said.
Police hope the dog could start work by the start of summer, said Hempel, who will be the dog’s handler.
“It would be a big help to the police department,” Bradberry said. “It’s going to be dual trained. It will do tracking by work and narcotics.”
Also at the meeting, City Council acknowledged the area’s first-responders for work during Hurricane Ike. The city’s police officers and volunteer firefighters, along with Freeport first responders and some store owners who contributed to the city’s operations during the storm, received plaques and trophies from Mayor Louis Guidry.
“There have been a tremendous number of people that gave time and gave equipment, and anytime we needed some, they didn’t mind coming out and opening the door so we could get some,” Guidry said. “So tonight, we are going to recognize those people that helped us out during Hurricane Ike.
“They did a fantastic job,” he said.