UNION CITY, Ohio — The Union City, Ohio, Police Department is hoping to add a full-time employee in the near future. However, this potential hire won’t require much in the way of a uniform or sidearm.
Union City Police Chief Mark Ater said his department is hoping to add a full-time K-9 to its crime-fighting force, if the department can raise the money needed.
“We currently have a part-time K-9 serving our department. With the addition of a new K-9 we will have the availability of a full-time K-9 available to our community,” said Ater. “The current, part-time K-9 is owned by one of our part-time officers, Patrolman Jeff Turner, who owns K-9 Solutions in New Carlisle, Ohio.”
“Patrolman Turner offers the K-9 to our community for no charge. Patrolman Turner and his K-9 partner, ‘Atticus,’ are currently serving our community in a part-time role at no cost to the taxpayer. Our plan is to add a full-time K-9 at no cost to the taxpayer. Our agency is committed to taking drugs off of the streets in our community,” he added.
Through fundraising, the hope is that the department will be able to raise enough money to purchase and train a new dog for full-time work.
Ater said budget constraints have compelled the department to appeal to the community for assistance.
“Due to budget constraints, we are asking for assistance in this matter to help us meet our goal of getting a new K-9 unit purchased, trained and available to serve and protect our community,” he said, noting the department had explored state and federal grant programs but has come up short.
One way for citizens to contribute is to purchase a T-shirt via an online fundraising website, Booster.com.
The T-shirts, $20, are gray and feature a badge depicting a German Shepherd and the motto “For the Community…By the Community” on the back and a minimized version on the front.
The shirts can be ordered by going online to https://www.booster.com/help-us-raise-funds-for-a-full-time-k9-unit-for-the-union-city-ohio-police-department. Shirts will be shipped about two weeks after the fundraising campaign ends.
Donors may also contribute money directly to the campaign without purchasing a shirt. The total approximate cost of the project, including the dog and required equipment, is $8,000.
Ater says the training class for the dog will be offered at no charge to our department. K-9 Solutions of New Carlisle has agreed to partner with the Union City Police Department and provide all of the training necessary to have a successful K-9 in our community.
“Patrolman Turner has over 15 years experience handling a dual purpose K-9,” said Ater. “In his career, he has handled three dual-purpose dogs, and established four successful K-9 units for agencies. Patrolman Turner has also assisted in implementing the units, writing and reviewing K-9 Policy, including writing K-9 policy to meet [Commission of Accreditation For Law Enforcement] standards.”
Those wishing to donate directly to Union City Police Department’s K-9 Fund can mail a donation to: Union City Ohio Police Department, Attn: K9 donation fund, 401 East Elm Street, Union City, Ohio 45390.
Those with questions may call the Union City Police Department at 937-968-7744.