Village Welcomes New K-9 Unit

Village Welcomes New K-9 Unit
Posted on 05/07/2019
During the month of April, the Pleasant Prairie Police Department welcomed its new K-9 Unit, Chase, to the community. Current Village Police Officer Mike Algiers will be Chase’s handler. Chase is a German Shepherd and is 16 months old. Chase replaced the department’s former K-9 Unit, Echo, who retired in the fall of 2018. Echo lives with his handler, Detective Scott Beaumier.

The Police Department decided to launch the welcome of the new police dog to the community by supporting the animals currently living at Safe Harbor Humane Society. The department asked fifth-grade classes at Prairie Lane, Pleasant Prairie, and Whittier schools to donate food, toys, and supplies for the animals at the humane society. The class that collected the most donations would have the opportunity of naming the dog.

The combination of schools collected a total of 872 items in less than two weeks. The winning class was teacher Heidi Tobalsky’s fifth-grade class at Prairie Lane School, which collected 210 items. The students were given three choices for names — Onyx, Kilo, or Chase. The students chose the name Chase.

Chase is considered a multi-purpose police dog trained in drug detection, tracking, and officer safety. The K-9 Unit will assist officers with various cases that include: drug cases, tracking lost children, tracking adults with dementia, search warrants, home and business searches, school drug sniffs, and criminal apprehensions. Chief David Smetana explained, “Having a K-9 with so many capabilities has proven to be an extremely valuable tool for the department over the years. Obtaining a new K-9 who was also multi-purpose, was a high priority.”

Chase and Officer Algiers, will receive eight weeks of specialized training at TOPS Kennel in Grays Lake, Illinois. They train together daily on alternating skills whether on duty or off. When Chase isn’t training or working, he will be living with Officer Algiers at home with his family.

A group of anonymous local business owners made donations to purchase the new K-9 and related training. All of the expenses related to the maintenance and care for the dog, including veterinarian costs, food costs, and training supplies are paid for through donations received directly from concerned citizens.

Chief Smetana added, “If it wasn’t for the generous donations from the public and our K-9 unit supporter apparel fundraiser, it is likely we would not be able to continue the K-9 program. Their contributions are greatly appreciated.”
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