Funds sought for furry officer

LINCOLN CITY — The Lincoln City Police Department has announced the establishment of its new K9 program, which will be run under Lt. David Broderick once a handler has been selected and a dog has been obtained. And police are asking the public to chip in.

“It is the goal of our K9 unit to help prevent crime, keep the community safe and add tremendous value to the Lincoln City Police Department,” a press release stated. “The K9 police officers are critical to police work in our small town where the number of sworn officers is small and the transient population and area to cover can be very large.”

But before the department can add a police dog to its ranks, there is a sizable financial hurdle: $75,000 to start the unit. This includes the training courses and certifications for the K9 handler and equipment for the K9 — including a ballistic vest, vehicle insert for safe transportation and the newly constructed kennel. In addition, there will be a significantly lower annual cost to maintain the unit. To pay for this new program, the Lincoln City Police are asking citizens for help.

“Our goal is to have the least financial impact on the city budget as possible,” said Officer Holly Blakely, a key member in the fundraising effort. “We are hoping that the community will graciously back our K9 program.  Along with the generous donations from the community, we are currently applying for grants, scholarships and donations from larger businesses and programs around the country.”

In its announcement of the new program, the department said that “police departments around the state are expanding with K9 police programs because they recognize the value they bring to their departments, along with the added safety they bring to their communities.” Blakely added that those same communities have shown “incredible support … for their K9 programs.”

Donations to the K9 program fund are tax deductible, and there are several ways to contribute. Checks can be made out to Lincoln City Police Department K9 Fund. Online, there is a donation button on the program’s informational blog — — and additionally, a GoFundMe has been set up for the program under the name “Lincoln City K9 Program Fund.”

Citizens with questions about the program or donations can call 541-994-3636 or email [email protected].