Council approves squad car for police K9 unit

Police Department more than two-thirds of the way to its fundraising goal of $60,000
by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The Police Department has a squad car for its proposed K9 unit.

The City Council Tuesday approved the purchase of a 2014 Dodge Charger police edition from Chuck Van Horn Dodge for the department to use for the K9 unit.

It was part of a resolution endorsing implementation of the program when the department completes its campaign to raise $60,000 to finance the program.

“I’m happy to say we’re well on our way,” to meeting that goal, Police Chief Jeff Tauscheck reported to the council. “This is a lot quicker than I had thought. It’s all part of the community’s generosity.”

The squad car being purchased from Van Horn for $23,000 comes with about $2,500 worth of police equipment already installed.

Tauscheck said the car was a demonstration model used by Dodge for car shows and other promotions. It was purchased by Van Horn from Dodge and the local dealership is willing to sell it to the city for less than their $28,000 cost.

“It will meet our needs. It’s the right height for the dog,” Tauscheck said of the squad car. He explained that the lowslung Charger is better for dogs than other cars that sit higher off the road.

The department has raised $16,400 through an online GoFundMe campaign (gofundme.com/PlymouthK9) and local donations, mostly in conjunction with the Downtown Plymouth Association.

In addition, Tauscheck said three local companies have indicated they will make donations in return for having their logos on the new squad car. That total is $25,000, he said.

The department has already received a $500 grant from Kwik Trip, is awaiting word on an application for a Drug Free Communities grant of $2,000, and is also applying for a Wal Mart community grant.

That brings the department to roughly 70 percent of its $60,000 goal. Tauscheck said various fund-raising events are planned for this summer and fall to add to the total.

“We will be looking to contact the vendor (for the dog) next week to schedule training,” Tauscheck added.

The dog, a Labrador Retriever, will cost $6,000 from the vendor in Indiana, according to Tauscheck. That will include the cost of two weeks of training for the police officer handler in Indiana with the dog.

The department estimates that the annual cost for the program after the initial startup costs should be between $1,700 and $2,000.

Tauscheck has said that the department is confident they can come up with that money through regular fundraisers and donations, with no increase to or impact on the department’s regular budget.

The resolution adopted unanimously by the council authorizes the department to add the K9 unit “as part of the core service level for the Police Department.”

It also says that the service will begin once the training standards have been met for the officer/handler and the dog.


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