Twin Lakes PD to explore K9 program

Twin Lakes Police Officer Joe Patla displays a stuffed police K9 toy that could be used as one of several fundraisers for a K9 program for the village. Patla said he has 25 ideas for fundraisers for the program.

The Twin Lakes Police Department will explore bringing a police dog, known as a K9, to the village department.

The department received the blessing of the Village Board at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting to begin fundraising for the program.

Police Officer Joesph Patla made a presentation on the advantages of having a K9 in the police department. He stressed that the program would largely be funded by donations of services and funds.

Patla said a K9 would be a cost effective and efficient addition to the department. The K9 would be trained to perform:

  • Drug detection.
  • Tracking, which could be used for fleeing suspcts, lost children, missing elderly.
  • Vehicle open air search.
  • School locker searches.
  • Business checks.
  • Officer protection.
  • Therapy dog, used to sooth and occupy children in bad situations.
  • Criminal apprehension, for serious offenders.

Patla stressed that the dog also would be a valuable public relations tool.

“Everyone loves dogs, pretty much,” Patla said.

Trustee Barb Andres asked how a single dog could be both approachable by the public, but also sufficiently aggressive to apprehend criminals or protect officers.

Patla acknowledged that some police K9s are not well adapted to public contact, but he has found a training facility that does produce dogs that are approachable.

“Having a social dog is important,” Patla said.

Typically a single officer within a department will work with the K9. The animal typically lives with that officer.

Patla said during his presentation that he has experience assisting with the training of police K9s.

The department would seek to raise $60,000 in donations to begin the program. About $40,000 of that will be acquiring and outfitting a specially equipped squad car to be used by the K9 officer.

Police Chief Adam Grosz said other departments with K9s have had little trouble raising $60,000 in donations of goods and services and money.

Donations will continue to fund the K9 program even after the initial investment, Patla said. Insurance for the squad and dog and maintenance on the car would be some of the few expenses of the program borne by the village.

Board members were in favor of the plan.

“Get it going Joe,” said village President Howard Skinner.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Trustee Aaron Karow.

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  1. Cordel Cerer says:

    So happy to hear about this. i cant wait to see the new squad car to come for Twin Lakes. Hopefully it will go through and we will see a new addition to the police department

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