In an effort to advance the city’s narcotics detection and enforcement capabilities, the Gardner City Council recently approved about $17,000 for the purchase of a police K9 and necessary equipment to transport and house the canine.
“One of the anticipated benefits of a narcotics detection K9 is an increase in the seizure and forfeiture of funds from controlled substance investigations,” according to Chief Jim Puetting, Gardner Police Department in a staff memo.
The purchase will utilize most of the Law Enforcement Trust Fund, which contains monies seized by Gardner Police Department during narcotics raids and forfeited in accordance with Kansas statute. There is currently about $18,900 in the fund.
At their Dec. 7 meeting, council members unanimously approved the purchase of a dual purpose police K9 and non-vehicle equipment required to train and shelter the animal. Once a K9 and handler are selected, and all training is complete, the dog will be housed during non-duty hours in a kennel at the handler’s residence.
A dual purpose K9 is trained to detect marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. It is also trained in building searches, tracking and officer protection.
After soliciting bids, council approved the $12,500 purchase from Hill Country Dog Center, Pipe Creek, Texas. The cost includes the K9 and training course. About $4,800 was approved for non-vehicle equipment; the K9 vehicle and special equipment will be purchased from the department’s 2015 budget.
Once a handler is selected, a K9 is selected on site. A certified handler from the City of Lenexa will accompany the Gardner Police Department handler to help make a selection. K9’s are are screened by Hill Country from the Netherlands, and they work with Labrador, Belgian Malinois, German Shepherds and Dutch Shepherds.
Animals are between 12-24 months old and are implanted with a 15 digit microchip for positive identification and tracking purposes . Hill Country Dog center will provide required documentation including a 1 year Health Warranty and a 1 year Workability Guarantee with the completion of the handler course.
Basic training for the K9 includes a 6-8 week Basic K9 Training class that includes kennel acclimation, obedience, drive and narcotic odor recognition. Following the K9 training, GPD’s selected handler will attend a four week on-site course covering K9 health and welfare, record keeping, principles of conditioning, detector dog handling and search techniques, obedience, controlled aggression and legal considerations. Once the handler and K9 return from training, there will be an additional 4-6 weeks of training with Lenexa to nationally certify the K9 on narcotic and patrol use.