Businesses raise money for new K-9
A police K-9 costs, on average, $10,000, and takes up to six months to train. The purchase of these highly specialized dogs is such a significant investment that the West Jordan Police Department must plan for the expense at least a year in advance.
On Dec. 12, Dave’s Body Shop and Pendleton’s Towing presented the Rotary Club of West Jordan with a check for $4,000. This donation, along with contributions from Waste Management, provided WJPD with adequate funds to purchase a new K-9.
“We’re increasing our unit by one handler,” Officer Tom Smith said. “So instead of three dogs we’re going to have four. This gives us better coverage of the city. By having three we can only cover the city part of the time. With four our coverage ability increases.”
Mike Searle, owner of Pendleton’s towing, has worked closely with WJPD for many years. His wife, Kathy, estimates that 95 percent of his business comes through the police department.
“I’ve been on the West Jordan rotation for 20 years,” Searle said. “I know how important these dogs are to the city.”
When Searle learned that police dog “Kuffs” was being retired because of health issues, he wanted to do something to help the department with the replacement costs. In October, Searle and his wife partnered with Dave’s Body Shop owner Stan Ware to organize a K-9 fundraiser.
The event, hosted in the parking lot of Dave’s Body Shop, featured a classic car show, a raffle and a “Dunk-a-Cop” tank manned by Police Chief Doug Diamond.
“Through Mike’s efforts and our involvement, we raised $2,000 toward a new K-9,” Ware said. “As Dave’s Body Shop, we agreed to match that amount.”
Following the event, Searle’s wife launched friendsofwjpdk9.com, a website dedicated to raising awareness and support for the West Jordan K-9 unit.
The Searles and Wares plan to turn the fundraiser into an annual event as they continue to support the West Jordan K-9 unit. They hope to host this year’s event in August rather than October.
“We decided together that this would be a good thing to help our city,” Searle said.