LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- The La Crosse Police Department is seeking another drug-detecting K9 to help combat the city's rising drug problem.
The department currently has two K9s, Ralph and Brutus, but a third would allow for a K9 unit to be available 24 hours a day.
Brutus and his handler, Officer Casey Rossman, recently placed first in the drug detector course during the United States Police Canine Association contest.
"When we go to work, it's his work day. When it's my day off, it's his day off," Rossman said. "He has a little doggy bed next to my bed."
Brutus responds to commands in German and can take locate and take down a suspect, but his specialty is finding drugs.
This year alone, the police department deployed Brutus to 101 drug calls and the dog was responsible for 31 arrests.
"Drug dealers, drug users, are very good a hiding, their drugs in vehicles, in houses, in places that would take too long for me to search manually," Rossman said.
Rossman remembers one arrest in particular.
"A group of men running drugs between Chicago and La Crosse, we had intercepted the van, Ran the dog on the inside, the dog kept going to the dash and the radio area of the van, I was able to take all the screws and the dash out and that's where we found a large amount of crack. $5000 worth of crack and he was smelling that through firewall, through the radio, through the electrical lines that runt through there."
And while it might be less than conventional to have a 4-legged partner Rossman wouldn't have it any other way.
"Brutus is my partner, full time. We're working partners and we're also friends," Rossman said.
At a meeting of the City Council's Finance and Personnel committee Thursday night, the department will ask to use $50,000 of left over money in the department budget to finance the dog. However it's unclear if they will actually have that balance remaining at the end of the fiscal year, so they are asking for public donations.
You can mail donations to La Crosse Police Department K9 Unit, 400 La Crosse St.
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