The community is rallying behind the Converse County Sheriff’s Office to raise money for a new K9 unit.
Folks at the Converse County Sheriff’s Office couldn’t be more excited to finally get plans in motion.
"We have been using Douglas Police Department for the last several years. It will be great to have one of our own," said Converse County Investigator Eric Koss
Converse County Officials have been working toward getting their new K9 unit since 2011.
"3 or 4 weeks ago, I was approached by the Bryan Gross Memorial Fund. We've been talking about it on and off for some time,” said Converse co. Sheriff Clint Becker. “They wanted to assist us in trying to raise some funds to fund a K9 unit for the Converse County Sheriff’s Office."
Converse County Officials expect to be very busy with the added unit, which consists of the dog and the officer.
"It’s a big responsibility for that person to have a dog,” said Becker. “That dog will be with that person and live with them. Pretty much a 24 hour a day companion. It’s a job that requires a lot of dedication on that part of the officer who has the dog."
Whoever takes the new position won't just be getting calls from converse county officials.
"This officer will be on call quite a bit to respond to any other agencies who need assistance or our own officers. Possibly the schools, things of that nature," said Becker.
Drug-related crimes have increased in the area but the k-9 unit will now be there to help slow it down.
"There has been a 250% rise in the drug arrests with the work that we've done. I think we can say that a lot of that is due to more training and a more proactive approach,” said Becker.
Officers look forward to counting on this new tool while on patrol.
"Out in the field it'll just be another resource that all the deputies have. That their able to call the k-9 handler to come out and assist with different traffic stops of things like that where they suspect drug use," said Koss.
Care for the dog and handler is roughly $45,000 a year.
If you would like to donate to the Bryan Gross Memorial Fund, contact Converse County Sheriff’s Office at 307-358-4700.
Converse County Officials are currently seeking to fill the position in the next few months