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Anamosa Police Raise Funds to Get New K9 to Fight Drug Crimes

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ANAMOSA, Iowa - The Anamosa Police Department wants to add another member to the force, a police dog.

A trained K9 can be a useful resource for law enforcement, but there's a catch: the price. Estimates put the cost of training for both the dog and officer around $10,000. The price tag is easier for larger police departments to handle. The expense, however, requires a lot of planning for smaller law enforcement agencies.

The Anamosa department's last dog was retired from service about two years ago. Without one, officers realize how much they need the dog to help fight crime within the city.

Right now, the cage from the former K9 sits in storage. In just a matter of months, the department hopes to re-install it into a patrol car when officers finish raising money. Currently, Anamosa has to call in other departments with dogs to help when needed.

"We're starting out with a brand new school year and it's difficult to go to schools and try to borrow dogs from other agencies and not have our own to assist with it, so we'd like to have it as soon as possible," Chief Simonson said.

The chief said the department has decided that their new K9 will be trained to conduct search and rescue missions and sniff out drugs, which is a growing problem in the city.

"The drug traffic is definitely on the increase again. We definitely see a lot more of that ... It's kind of an up and down swing and we were low there for a while, but now it's on the way back up," Chief Simonson said.

His department has seen a lot of meth activity. Chief Simonson said within the last eight months, crews have responded to two meth lab related fires.

"There are more and more meth labs coming around, so unfortunately the dogs don't get involved in the meth lab search of that because of the chemicals but they do search out the finished product," Chief Simonson said.

Police officers have already brought in about half the money they need. The price tag on the one they are looking at comes in at about $12,000. If anyone is interested in helping out, just call the Anamosa Police Department.

"We have a fund set up through a local bank, it goes through city hall. So the checks and balances are done by the city clerk or city staff, city hall staff so it's all gone through them to the bank and then it's earmarked for k9 always so it doesn't go into the general fund for streets or something like that," Chief Simonson said.

The Jones County Sheriff's Department is also working to get a new K9, which will work with a deputy throughout the county.

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