LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) ---- La Crosse Police now have four K-9 teams working every shift.
They say it's added an extra layer of protection for both officers and the public.
The only problem it's expensive to train, house and equip cars for the dogs.
Police dogs or K-9 units play an increasingly important role in crime fighting. Now the La Crosse Police Department is asking for financial support from the public to keep these dogs on the job.
Brutus, a 7-year-old K-9 officer, responds to commands in German and he's never been outrun. "He tracked him through a swamp where I was up to my waist in water and he was actually swimming but still tracking in the water," said Officer Casey Rossman.
When Brutus is on duty with the La Crosse Police department his job is to sniff out drugs all for some play time with his partner, Officer Casey Rossman and a chance to play with his favorite toy.
"He doesn't get toys at home. It's when we go to work or to train it's his time to have fun. That's his reward," said Investigator Ron Secord.
La Crosse Police have four canine teams that do random walk throughs of area high schools. At Central High School, Investigator Ron Secord and his canine partner practice for the real thing.
Grumman, a 7-year-old trained to find explosives, works for food. "He doesn't eat if we don't train. Twice a day I set explosives out, depending on what we're training on that day," said Secord.
La Crosse Police say canine teams have proven invaluable over the years, but keeping them trained is costly. As for supplying the love and care for these animals both officers say that's priceless.
"Eight hours a day he's by my side. We are partners, we're friends. We're there for each other all the time," said Officer Rossman.
If you'd like to help support the La Crosse Police K-9 teams you can sign up for the 5th annual Putt'n 4 Pooches Golf Outing and Fundraiser .
Wednesday June 11th at 9:30am at Forest Hills Golf Course. Tickets are 60 dollars per person. You can skip the golf and just do the dinner for $10.00 at Brother's Bar.
For more information including an application form to sign up for the golf fundraiser go to www.lacrossepd.org
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