Iowa police department receives grant for new K-9 officer
Ranger, a new bloodhound purchased to help the police with tracking, joins the Cedar Rapids department thanks to the 500th grant awarded by AKC Reunite
By Elijah Decious
The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Thanks to a new milestone grant, the Cedar Rapids Police Department now has four more paws on the force.
Ranger, a new bloodhound purchased to help the police with tracking, joins the department thanks to the 500th grant awarded by AKC Reunite.
Ranger, whose handler is Sgt. Nathan Trimble, is the eighth member of the department’s K-9 unit, but the first bloodhound. While other dogs are trained to apprehend suspects, detect narcotics or find explosives, Ranger’s specialized training from Bluegrass Bloodhounds in Kentucky will focus solely on tracking — rounding out the unit’s capabilities to complement public safety needs.
“The Cedar Rapids Police Department Canine Unit is incredibly appreciate of the AKC Reunite program’s financial assistance to bring Ranger to our department,” said Trimble. “He’s developing into an outstanding asset.”
AKC Reunite, a nonprofit affiliate of the American Kennel Club (AKC), serves as the largest pet microchip identification and recovery service provider in the country. Its Adopt a K-9 program, started 10 years ago, has awarded $3.7 million in donations to police departments in 40 states. This year, 58 grants remain for disbursement.
The matching grant program allows AKC Reunite to match funds three-to-one from American Kennel Club chapters, AKC-affiliated organizations and the public, up to $7,500 per grant. Funds are raised by contributions from AKC dog clubs and community members.
The Cedar Rapids Police Department grant was sponsored by the Cedar Rapids Kennel Association.
“I started the program to help police departments in need, where a lack of funding meant that they would not have a canine to protect the public as well as their first responders,” said Christopher Sweetwood, AKC board member and ambassador for the program. “When there is a need, we are there. We are proud to reach this milestone of 500 police K-9s purchased for our communities. We look forward to reaching the milestone of 1,000 grants.”
For departments affected by a lack of funding, the grants can be particularly critical.
“Police departments across the U.S. recognize the importance of the AKC Reunite Adopt a K-9 Cop grant,” said Don Slavik, president of the United States Police Canine Association. “With their exceptional scent and odor detection skills, these dogs are an invaluable asset.”
(c)2023 The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Visit The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) at thegazette.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.