Cedar Rapids Police Department gets grant for new K-9 co-worker

July 27, 2023 by No Comments

Ranger, a newly acquired bloodhound, has become a valuable addition to the police department’s tracking efforts, thanks to the generous support of AKC Reunite, who awarded the department’s 500th grant.

Assigned to Sgt. Nathan Trimble as his handler, Ranger is now the eighth member of the K-9 unit, being the first bloodhound to join. While the other dogs in the unit are trained for various tasks like apprehending suspects, detecting narcotics, and finding explosives, Ranger’s specialized training from Bluegrass Bloodhounds in Kentucky focuses solely on tracking. This unique skill set enhances the unit’s capabilities, making them more effective in addressing public safety needs.

Sgt. Trimble expressed deep gratitude towards the AKC Reunite program for their financial support in bringing Ranger to their department. He noted that Ranger is proving to be an exceptional asset.

AKC Reunite is a nonprofit affiliate of the American Kennel Club (AKC), and it serves as the leading provider of pet microchip identification and recovery services in the country. Through its Adopt a K-9 program, which has been running for a decade, the organization has generously donated $3.7 million to police departments in 40 states. Currently, there are 58 grants yet to be awarded this year.

The grant program operates on a matching basis, where AKC Reunite matches funds three-to-one from American Kennel Club chapters, AKC-affiliated organizations, and public donations, with a maximum limit of $7,500 per grant. The funds are collected through contributions from AKC dog clubs and community members.

The Cedar Rapids Police Department’s grant, which made Ranger’s addition possible, was sponsored by the Cedar Rapids Kennel Association.

Christopher Sweetwood, an AKC board member and ambassador for the program, started the initiative with the aim of assisting police departments in need, where lack of funding could prevent them from having a canine to protect both the public and their first responders. He expressed pride in achieving the significant milestone of 500 police K-9s purchased for communities and looks forward to reaching the next milestone of 1,000 grants.

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