TUCSON – Communities across the U.S. have spoken and Tucson Police Department (TPD) has been chosen.
TPD won a grant for its K9 unit after winning a national vote online.
There were over a thousand K9 units up for this grant and TPD finished second.
TPD says this money will really help because the K9 unit is vital to keeping the public safe.
“The K9s are a huge asset to the police department for a couple of reasons,” said Ofc. Berrie Pedersen with TPD. “One, we call them a force multiplier because they can search large areas of buildings a lot faster than officers can. So that helps get our officers back on the street quicker. The other thing is they’re kind of an early warning system for when we’re coming close to somebody who we’re looking for.”
Pedersen’s partner was Bolt. Bolt worked for TPD for five and a half years and did a lot in his time. He just retired.
— Ofc Pedersen & K9 Kiro (@ofc_pedersen) February 4, 2019
“Bolt has been great,” said Pedersen. “It’s been the honor of my career to work with him. 5 and a half years of going to work together, patrol calls, SWAT calls, community demonstrations. We’ve done everything you can do as a team.”
— Ofc Pedersen & K9 Kiro (@ofc_pedersen) February 16, 2019
Pedersen says it is important the dogs are trained properly and this grant will help them train.
“The $4,0000 is going to go towards our training facility,” Pedersen said. “Specifically we’re going to build some scent walls that we’ll use for detection training for all of our dogs.”
They have a total of eight dogs and should be getting another one this summer to replace Bolt.
The check will be presented to TPD tomorrow morning and they will get started on the new training facility in the next few months.