Police K-9s serve as an acute part of Law Enforcement by assisting Police Departments with complicated tasks. One of the most critical things a K-9 offers is the speed of completing the job. Finding a bomb, accelerants, kidnapped or missing person, narcotics and crime scene evidence quickly can be a matter of life or death. Police K-9s routinely bring this peace of mind to their handlers. Police dogs are also trained to bite dangerous suspects and hold them hostage. In many situations, they are the first ones to put their lives on the line and go against an armed suspect to protect their human partners or hostages.
In many states K-9s are not fully funded by their state or local municipalities which means they rely heavily on private donations. The Hometown Foundation’s most recent initiative is to address the essential need for Police K-9s, nationally. Our team works very closely with Police Departments on various fronts.
- Provide the department with a Police K-9 that specifically matches the request. K-9 training covers explosives and narcotic detection, suspect apprehension, missing person and cadaver searches and even locating items such as cell phones or hard drives.
- Purchase of safety equipment for K-9s.
- Provide use of our K-9 training facility located in Farmington, CT at no cost to all service K-9s and officers.
In addition, we promote education and awareness through our project Blue Paw program. The program is held at high schools located throughout Connecticut and incorporates students with intellectual learning disabilities and partners. The curriculum is similar to a job fair where experts from Law Enforcement teach the critical components of the police and K-9 occupation. An emergency response veterinarian attends and speaks about how they handle a simple wound to a serious trauma. A K-9 trainer utilizes their time to cover occupational and behavioral challenges they encounter when developing a Police K-9. Generally, we bring future 8-10 week old police puppies to the event to add some fun for the participants. This is also an opportunity for us to begin training our puppies to be social and become accustomed to interacting with children with special needs. The 90 minute session is then completed with a Police K-9 demonstration from the State or Local Police department.
In 2017, we donated 6 police K-9s in 4 states. The Hometown Foundation is extremely careful with K-9 allocations. One of the common ways a K-9 can be injured or killed in the line of duty stems from poor training. Therefore, our Police K-9 donation recipients are required to compete in at least one of our Police K-9 Challenges. A Police K-9 challenge allows independent judges to score the K-9s based on obstacles the K-9s frequently face when doing actual police work. Our foundation carefully monitors the results to certify our K-9s are safe to perform police work. We currently host two annual K-9 Challenges in Farmington and Newtown Connecticut. We have also donated more than $50,000 in K-9 training and equipment since the launch of our Police K-9 initiative.
As a way of raising visibility and awareness to these important modules, The Hometown Foundation organizes K-9 Safety Awareness month every February, a multifaceted campaign consisting of in-store fundraising, cash collection boxes in local businesses, t-shirt sales, Blue Jeans for Blue Paws and much more. Funds collected are used for purchasing Police K-9s, GPS tracking collars, training and safety equipment. In addition to K-9 Safety Awareness Month, other events are held throughout the year to raise funds for K-9 units.
The Hometown Foundation would like to thank its 2017 and 2018 sponsors and community partners.