STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) - The need for additional police dogs is very apparent in central Wisconsin. Marathon County recently announced their desire to revive their K9 program after being without police dogs since the 1990’s. They are trying to get between two and four dogs to help with drug enforcement, and to lessen their reliance on other departments for dog services. One of those dogs is Aron, who recently replaced the retired Everest Metro Police Department K9 named Lord.
Portage County has one K9 officer named Baco, but they want a second one. Sheriff John Charewicz says the six-year-old gets a workout, being deployed 111 times last year for drug searches and special response team calls. He was also used for several assists to police in Stevens Point, Plover, and for searches at schools and the Federal Correctional Facility in Adams County.
Like other areas, Charewicz says the number of drug searches makes it important to have a K9 available every day instead of every other week like they have now. Also, with Baco turning six years old, he will probably be retired in two to three years.
It takes about $15,000 to acquire a police K9 officer. Several departments have fundraisers underway to help get and care for their next police dogs.