SCHOFIELD, WI (WSAU) - Fundraising efforts are underway to help Lord retire next year. Lord is the K9 officer with the Everest Metro Police Department. Lord joined the force in 2005 when his handler, officer Robert Dickerson was hired by Everest Metro Police.
Chief Wally Sparks says Lord has been a valuable addition to the team, but police dogs retire after about 10 years of service. He says they are raising funds early to purchase another K9 before Lord retires. "We'd like this to be a seamless transition, so our intent is to get the new dog and the handler to six weeks of training and get the new canine walking in one day and retiring Lord that same day."
He says Lord will still be around, just not on duty. "He'll be going home to the handler. You never separate a dog and his handler. They're partners, but they're partners for life."
The chief says it is expensive to acquire and train the right dog, so they’re starting fundraising early. Sparks has been contacting possible funding sources to help pay for Everest Metro’s next K9 officer.
Chief Sparks says having a K9 on the force is extremely valuable for drug investigations and for maintaining safety at investigation scenes. "The canine is such a valuable tool, especially with case law the way it is today and some of the issues that we've had with drugs and related crime. It's not only a safety issue, but it's just an invaluable investigative asset. We're hopeful that we don't skip a beat with that, and fundraising goes well, and we'll have a new dog in the early summer (of 2013)."
One of the fundraisers is Tuesday evening December 18th. Northcentral Technical College’s Criminal Justice Club is working with Schofield Pizza Hut. Diners need to bring in the "Dining to Donate" flyer and 15% of buffet sales between 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. goes to the Everest Metro K9 fund. You must have the flyer, which is available at NTC Student Life. It is not available at Everest Metro Police Department’s website and is not available at Pizza Hut or their website.
Chief Sparks expects officers and K9 Lord will spend some time at Pizza Hut answering questions about the K9 program.