Madison (WKOW) The Madison Police Department is in the midst of a recruiting campaign. More than a dozen agents have left the department since the start of the pandemic.
The department needs more officers – both two-legged and four-legged.
Kelly Magyera, with Uppercase K9 said: “At the moment we have eight working dogs in the canine unit, and we would still like to grow.”
Capital K9s is a non-profit organization that organizes fundraisers to help the Madison Police Department cover the cost of the animals.
“Buying a dog costs between $ 50 and $ 60,000,” says Magyera, “so it’s all based on donations; it is not funded by the City of Madison. “
Earlier this month, Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes told 27 News his department held a recruiting event in June. Since the pandemic, MPD has lost nearly 15 of its human agents.
Chief Barnes said: “When we lose an experienced officer and an officer who has ties to the community, I think it hurts us. We lose that expertise. We lose those community relationships and we have to rebuild them.”
In 2004, the K9 unit became a formal part of MPD. Police say these dogs are appreciated by all members of the department for the services they provide.
“It’s really great to have dogs,” says Constable Eric Disch. “Agent K9 Bowie is certified in the Search Track for Items Search, Narcotics and Apprehension, and Protection of Masters.
Dogs are also used to defuse tense situations. Officers say these dogs are often more powerful than a weapon.
“The mere presence of the dog alone is in the high 90 percentile of people who simply tend to give up on an incident,” says Disch.
The Madison Police Department has seven patrol dogs and a bomb dog. The department is looking to add another K9 agent.