St. Croix County Sheriff’s department K9 unit receives grantMonday, August 31, representatives from Hudson’s Target store presented a check in the amount of $600 to the St. Croix County K9 program.
Monday, August 31, representatives from Hudson’s Target store presented a check in the amount of $600 to the St. Croix County K9 program. Started in 1990, Target created a Law Enforcement Grant Program that supports criminal justice agencies that makes communities safer. The grant applications are accepted on an annual basis; this year the deadline was April 30.
St. Croix County Investigator Brandie Hart applied for the grant specifically for the sheriff’s department K9 program. The annual projected K9 budget for 2009 is approximately $27,000- ALL of which come from donations. The primary expenses involved with the canines are: 1) the actual cost of the dog, 2) training, 3) overtime for officer for call-outs, school searches, assisting other agencies, etc, 4) vet bills, and 5) miscellaneous equipment. This review of the program was included in the grant request.
According to the 2008 US Census estimates, St. Croix County is the fastest growing county in Wisconsin with 82,487 residents, a 30.6 percent increase from 2000. The sheriff’s department patrolled 722 square miles and answered over 12,000 calls for service in 2008. Interstate 94 provides a gateway from the Twin Cities to Chicago, Ill., and serves as a pipeline for criminal activity between the two major metropolitan cities. St. Croix County has been on the forefront of the fight against methamphetamine and other drugs, as well as the crime(s) associated with controlled substance abuse.
The sheriff’s department canines and handlers provide assistance to all of the municipalities within St. Croix County, as well as to surrounding
counties and their agencies. The unit was founded in 1997 to equip the department with an additional tool to assist in providing enhanced public safety to the residents of the county. Since that time, the unit has grown to include three canine officers Ace, Doc and Cash. Ace and Doc are certified by the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) in both patrol and narcotics work, and are required to re-certify annually to maintain working eligibility requirements. The canine handlers work diligently with the dogs, both on and off duty, to ensure their proficiency and to maintain the standards set forth by the USPCA.