The Knox Police Department is looking to add a four-legged crime fighter to its ranks. They received approval from the board of works to purchase a K-9 to assist with drug investigations and searches.
Police Chief Harold Smith says there’s a need for the additional resource based on the volume of drug cases they’ve worked so far this year. Officers have already arrested 28 people on 66 drug-related charges.
The purchase of the dog and training for K-9 Officer Chad Dulin will cost an estimated $17,000, which will be paid for with donated funds. Insurance will cost about $100 per year, and veterinary care and food will be donated.
Dulin and the dog will train together for six weeks in Peru. He plans to commute in order to save the department money and will take comp time instead of the federally-mandated overtime for K-9 handlers.
Mayor Dennis Estok says a K-9 will be a good asset for the city.
“I want to make sure people know that if you’re going to come into Knox, Indiana, sooner or later we’re gonna get you. You’re not going to use our city to manufacture your drugs or deal them out of here. I’m all for it.”
Dulin would eventually like to use the dog to educate the public and put on school demonstrations to fill the void left when the D.A.R.E. program was discontinued.
Donations for the Knox City Police Department K9 Fund will be receipted into a separate account. They can be dropped off at city hall during business hours or at the Knox Police Department.
The city will need to purchase a vehicle to accommodate the K-9. They’ve got a 2009 patrol car that is due for replacement. The board of works recommended the city council consider purchasing a SUV for the K-9 officer.