Donation to help fundraise for upcoming St. Clair K-9 | News, Sports, Jobs
A check for $3,000 was presented to the St. Clair Township Police Department, helping pave the way for the purchase of an additional dog for the department’s K-9 program.
Noelle Amato, representing the Pete Amato Foundation, presented the check to Detective Keith Hilderbrand, who was selected by Chief Brian McKenzie as the department’s second K-9 officer, joining Officer Josh Jackson’s current K-9 team. and his canine partner Noras.
The ministry is currently accepting donations for the cost of the new dog, which will be approximately $15,500.
In addition to the purchase price of the nationally trained and certified dual-purpose dog, other costs associated with building a second K-9 team will bring the total to $70,000, according to information provided by Hilderbrand.
This includes the dog handler course and certification, the necessary dog gear, and a specially equipped cruiser for the K-9 team.
The current K-9 program is run solely by donations and not taxpayer dollars, and the department is seeking financial assistance from the community to add this second K-9 unit. Checks should be made payable to St. Clair Township FOP #210 “K9 Fund”, with all donations tax deductible since FOP is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.
In a recent letter soliciting donations, Chief McKenzie wrote that the ministry “has been blessed with years of support from residents, businesses and communities,” to add, “We believe this year has shown everyone the importance of working together as a community to make life better for everyone. (The Ministry) wants to assure everyone, no matter the circumstances, that we will always be here to serve you through our core values of service, integrity, respect and resourcefulness.
He said the decision to add a second K-9 was “simply because of the sheer number of instances where K-9 teams have been instrumental and vital to job performance.”
As a dual-trained K-9, the dog will assist in locating drugs/narcotics during vehicle and building searches; tracking and apprehending criminals; locate lost or endangered citizens; protection of officers; and outreach programs, including in schools, to build community relationships.
Regarding community support, McKenzie said his ministry “I sincerely appreciate your help in protecting our community and keeping our streets safe.”
McKenzie and her partner Dan formed the SCPD’s first K-9 team.