- Published on Wednesday, 02 April 2014 19:27
- Written by Super User
Left to right: K-9 Officers Chief and Jenna.
By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Police Department K-9 officers Jenna and Chief are retiring and there's a movement developing to help raise funds to obtain new K-9 officers for the department.
Earlier this year local resident Stefanie Juel wanted to help raise funds to purchase bulletproof vests for the K9's. When she heard that Jenna would soon be retiring the mission switched to funding the purchase of a new dog.
Recently it was also determined that Chief would be retiring.
Juel said that K-9's can cost upwards of $12,000 each. She works at First Citizen's Bank in Carolina Beach where an account has been setup to take donations from the public to help fund replacement of the two K9's. Checks can be made out to Carolina Beach Police K9 Unit and dropped off at the bank or mailed to 612 North Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC 28428.
Juel said they still want to obtain vests for the new dogs and hope they can work with companies who may donate the vests.
She said fundraising events are being planned. The first will be an informational table and raffle at the 18th Annual Chowder Cook-off on April 12th at the Carolina Beach Lake. Other events will be announced at a later date.
Carolina Beach Police Chief Kenneth Hinkle said the K9 program began in 2003 and explained, "Our level of training and dedication far exceeds that of the majority of K-9 units across the nation. It is for that reason that defense attorneys in this area do not challenge our dogs or K-9 handlers."
He explained, "Due to the increase in civil liability over the years, the training and requirements of police service dogs have increased exponentially. Carolina Beach Police Department's K-9 unit has been on the forefront of this training movement by continually learning and adapting new training methods. Not only have we trained our own service dogs throughout our history but we also assist other agencies in their training as well." He explained, "Currently the K-9 team has completed 124 vehicle "sniffs", assisted on 15 calls with other agencies, and completed 15 tracks, 2 article searches, 100 building searches and 10 narcotic deployments to residences. Our K-9 teams are on call 24 hours a day and respond to all routine calls as well as K-9 specific calls."
Hinkle explained, "Since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, the world has observed an increase in the need for police service dogs all over the world. Due to this need, the price for police service dogs has risen dramatically and continues to rise. We save the Town... and its citizens a large portion of this price by training the dogs ourselves. We rely on donations for the purchase of the dogs only. Due to current budget cuts the Town is unable to provide funds to allocate for the purchase of a new dog."
He explained, "Sergeant Sowards's K-9 partner is going to be 9-years old this year. Although Jenna is still doing very well on the street it is and has been our Department's policy to retire service dogs who have reached Jenna's age. We need to have a replacement as soon as possible to ensure the survival of the K-9 unit."