‘Charlie’ wanted by Kewaunee Police Department
City of Kewaunee Police Officer Brian Gale wants to bring Charlie home to Kewaunee.
Charlie is a purebred German shepherd who is being trained in St. Johns, Mich., as a K-9 specialist. He will find drugs, track lost people, items or suspects. He will also specialize in suspect apprehension.
“Having a local K-9 will be extremely beneficial to our community,” said Gale, who is leading the effort to raise approximately $16,000 for Charlie’s training and upkeep.
Drug-related incidents are increasing in the city of Kewaunee, Gale said. In 2014 there were seven drug-related incidents, in 2015 there were 37 and in 2016 there have been 27 drug-related incidents reported through April 30, he said.
“We need to get rid of drugs before it gets worse,” said Gale. “K-9s are a big deterrent for people who bring them here.”
Right now, if K-9 tracking is needed in the county, the police department has to wait for a dog to come from Brown or Manitowoc County, which can take more than an hour when minutes can make the difference in catching a suspect or finding hidden drugs, Gale said.
Charlie and his training cost $8,000. While Police Chief Frank Salentine supports Gale’s efforts, the police department doesn’t have funds for this cost, so the department is trying to raise the money through donations, Gale said. It will take an additional $8,000 for Charlie’s equipment and upkeep.
Charlie will ride in in the back of the squad with Gale and help protect him as well as other officers.
“It has always been my dream to be a K-9 handler since I got into law enforcement,” Gale said.
He said that he always had a dog when he was growing up in Luxemburg, primarily for hunting. He currently has a German wire-haired pointer who will be a companion for Charlie when he brings him home at night.
Charlie is expected to complete his 10-week training by early August and Gale will drive to Michigan and spend two weeks training with him. He said that he will bring Charlie back to Kewaunee and introduce him to school groups and others in the fall.
Because the Kewaunee Police Department does not have funds to support Charlie, Gale is organizing fundraisers this summer and also asking for donations. Donations are tax deductible and checks can be made to the Kewaunee Police Department and mailed: Kewaunee Police Department, ATTN: Officer Brian Gale, 401 Fifth St., Kewaunee, WI 54216.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: 'Charlie' wanted by Kewaunee Police Department