Fundraiser for first-ever Plover K-9 brings in just over $33,000 — and that number keeps rising
By Brandi Makuski
A fundraising drive for a brand new K-9 unit at the Plover Police Department is now $200 closer to its goal.
The Central Wisconsin Marine Corps League Detachment 350 presented the department with the donation on Thursday, June 2, by Bob Wnuk, detachment chaplain, and Ray Potocki, district vice commandant.
“We checked our records and [found] we had donated $200 the to Portage County K-9 [unit], Wnuk said. “So we decided we had to make a donation here, too.”
Wnuk also challenged other local organizations to donate for the cause as well.
“If a small detachment like us can come up with $200…so could anybody,” Wnuk said.
The PPD needs just shy of $50,000 to implement the K-9 Unit before their new dog, Ice, and Ice’s future partner, Ofc. Seth Pionke, completes training in December. Ault said the vehicle is outfitting with special equipment designed for housing a K-9 officer during patrols, and the equipment isn’t cheap.
“Obviously there’s a cage in the back of the vehicle,” Ault said during April’s K-9 fundraising event. “But there’s also special fans and sensors to make sure the vehicle is temperature-controlled…the vehicle has to be safe for the handler, of course, but also for the dog.”
Ault has always said the village wants to “do it right from the start” of the program, which means utilizing the best and most up-to-date equipment and training so the program can be successful.
“Obviously, this program is designed to sustain itself,” Ault said on Friday, adding money confiscated during drug investigations will be used to fund the K-9 program, as it standard with most K-9 units across the state. “But the initial investment is the biggest. And I’ve always called this an ‘investment’ because it’s going to be the village’s dog…a dog that will be highly visible in the community.”
Ault added that once trained, Ice will be able to not only detect drugs, but also to apprehend suspects and search for missing persons.
“I know this story has been in the paper, but we’re getting these donations from people who just reach out to us,” Ault said, then, addressing Wnuk and Pitocki, said, “Believe me, every penny counts, so thanks a lot guys.”
The department is still selling fundraiser t-shirts, and donations can be made at the front counter of the Plover Police Dept., 2420 Post Road. Tax deductible donations for the new K-9 can be made online http://www.cfcwi.org/ or by sending a check to the Community Foundation directly at: CFCWI, P.O. BOX 968, Stevens Point, WI 54481.