|The Miles City Police K9 Unit will be hosting a fundraiser August 4th at 6:00 pm at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds. The fundraiser will include a meal, dance with live band, full bar provided by the Bison Bar, silent auction, 50/50 raffle, door prizes and the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets. The raffle ticket prizes are for two processed halves of beef, one Ruger 10/22 rifle, one $100.00 gift certificate to Universal Athletic Service and a 2012 Yamaha Grizzly ATV donated by RMC. The silent auction will include items such as power tools, gift baskets, barbeque grill, gun cabinets and golf accessories. The cost of the benefit is $12.00 at the door.
During the last year, the Miles City Police Department and surrounding law enforcement agencies have seen a significant increase in narcotic activity. We are dealing not only with an increase in drug activity but also are seeing drugs that are new to this region that previously we have not dealt with. As the oil growth continues, we will also continue to see increased drug problems that will affect us all. The highways that surround Miles City serve as a major traveling route for the illegal drug trade, and as you know, we are not too far from the the main oil field towns.
During the fundraising process, there have been many questions about the other police dogs we have had here. Our first K9 was brought to Miles City by Officer Berry Taft in 1992. That was a male German Shepherd, K9 Dan. K9 Dan was a dual prupose dog. Dan was already 5 years old when we received him. Officer Taft left the department shortly after receiving Dan and K9 Dan was sold to an agency out west. The next K9 we purchased was a Belgium Malinois, K9 Leika. Officer Dan Davis was that dog's handler. Leika was brought here in 2005. K9 Leika was the dog that trailed suspect Devin Deming back to the location where his vehicle was parked, allowing us to make casting impressions of the tire tread. K9 Leika began to have behavior issues so Officer Davis went back to Ohio and received a new Belgium Malinois, K9 Tessa. Officer Davis left the department shortly after that and Officer Jeremy Waldo became K9 Tessa's new handler. Both Tessa and Leika were dual purpose dogs (narcotics and apprehension). K9 Tessa worked very well for the department but unfortunately Officer Waldo left the MCPD to work for the state. K9 Tessa was beginnig to get some age on her and the decision was made to retire her in 2007. Something to keep in mind with these police service dogs is that they have a short work life, they do not last forever and if a department can get 5-6 good years out of them they are doing great. Some last longer and some less than that. In 2009 I was able to bring in a bloodhound to the department. I thought Miles City needed a change in K9's. The cost was minimal and the Miles City Police Association donated $400 for K9 bob. K9 Bob was brought to Miles City by Richard Berrelaz, who started the Allie Foundation. K9 Bob was brought here as a pup so he is still young and has a lot still to offer to Miles City. Officer Travis Grealish is his handler. K9 Bob's biggest case came in 2010 on Valentine's Day when he trailed a sexual assault suspect back to his residence. K9 Bob will continue to be used as a trailing dog for the department.
So that is the history of our K9 units, I hope that answers some of those questions regarding the past donations and where the dogs are now.
If you have a chance, please spread the word and come out and show your support for the new Narcotic K9 unit. Thanks to the generous donations of many, we have already raised about half of the cost of a trained dog, so we are very close to being able to send an officer to the training (we are hoping next winter). Thank you for your support.
Chief Doug Colombik
Miles City Police Department
|Is there any way a person can purchase some raffle tickets without going to the fundraiser? I will not be in town at that time and would love to help out by buying some tickets.
|I have K9 raffle tickets for sale. Contact me via email with your contact info and I can get them to you.
|Will the new K-9 be able to do work for the county? I was told that K-9 Bob can only be used in the city limits.Would it not be great if City and County could work together when needed.I'll be at the fund raiser to support this cause. Ann
|Just out of curiosity, what do these dogs cost?
|Yes the K-9 will be able to be used in the county and for MHP if requested in our area. K-9 Bob also does a lot of work in the county his handler is a city cop but is utilized widely he even went to Sidney for the Arnold case. So yes the Narcotics K-9 will be made available to use outside city limits.
Cost on a single purpose Narcotics K-9 is around $8000