Two new members of the Greenwood Police Department will join the force thanks to a grant from a local restaurant.
The new police dogs will double the number of K-9s used by Greenwood police.
The $20,000 grant from Firehouse Subs was awarded Friday during a ceremony at the store on U.S. 31. The grant will pay for the purchase of two police dogs.
After the training is complete, the police department will have enough K-9s so that one is working every shift.
“We do use our dogs quite a bit. We just had two of ours retire in the last year,” said Kortney Burrello, a Greenwood police officer. “We’re replacing those two.”
The dogs work with trained officers. The dog-human officer teams work together exclusively and not with other officers, she added.
Once the $20,000 in grant money is in the department’s coffers, the police department will be able to send two officers to a specialized kennel in Denver, Indiana — Vohne Liche Kennel — to pick out their dogs, and then the officers and dogs will go to a training program in the fall and be ready for duty in late December or early January, she said.
Greenwood’s remaining two dogs split the shifts, so one is used during the day and the other at night. If an additional dog is needed, it’s borrowed from other agencies such as the sheriff’s office, Burrello said.
Normally, the cost of the dogs would come out of the tax-funded budget for the department, Burrello said.
Greenwood police have had both German shepherds and Malinois dogs. The two K-9s on the force, Odin and King, were on hand at the ceremony on Friday.
Burello said the officers will get to choose dogs they can bond with and take to training. The dogs will be trained in both narcotics and search-and-tracking.
Firehouse Subs provided the grant money through its foundation, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.