New grant enables Wis. police to start K-9 program
By Larry Lee
MERRILL, Wis. — More law enforcement agencies are working to start or grow their K9 officer programs. Merrill Police have received a grant that ensures the department will get their first ever dog.
Police Chief Kenneth Neff is very excited about the opportunity to implement a K9 program. “It’s something that we’ve talked about for a number of years, and thanks to the generosity of the Bierman Family Foundation, we received some funding to get started on that K9 unit.”
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department had a K9 program a number of years ago, and Neff says the City of Merrill has never had one, so he’s looking forward to getting their own police K9 to search for people, drugs, and even help with public relations. Right now, they request mutual aid from outside of the county when they need the services of a police dog. “Typically, it’s been Wausau PD, sometimes Tomahawk PD now that they have a K9 unit, so whenever there’s a need for it, we’ll call around to see if one is available to help us, but typically, that’s a good half-hour wait before a K9 is up to whatever incident we need it at.”