MOSES LAKE — The Moses Lake Police Department is closing in on its newest phase of law enforcement in the community and local businesses are helping push the project over the top.
Moses Lake Chief of Police Kevin Fuhr has been putting things in place to develop a K-9 program at the department. Eleven Moses Lake businesses have combined to raise close to $20,000 of the $25,000 needed to buy and train the first dog and provide training for the K-9 team.
Ten Pin Brewing Company of Moses Lake is doing its part in helping the department take a bite out of crime by donating $1 for every pint sold at the Ten Pin Brewing Company taphouse during the month of August to help raise the remaining $5,000 needed for the project.
“Having a K-9 team can really supplement what we do in law enforcement here in Moses Lake, and make things a lot safer for our officers,” Fuhr said. “Right now, our goal is to get one dog and get the program up and running. Once we get one dog in place and see how effective that dog team is, we’ll evaluate.
“Then our goal is to develop the program in the future. I don’t know what the time frame would be, so right now we’re looking to get a dog and its officer trained and in place.”
Ten Pin Brewing Company was selected as the Small Brewery of the Year at the Washington Beer Awards and is rapidly establishing itself within the industry. It is locally owned and operated and CEO BJ Garbe said they are happy to be a part of this community project.
“It’s just a great cause. The program is great for public safety,” Garbe said. “We’re more than happy to support it because it goes toward the safety of our community.”
Fuhr has been working on the fundraising portion of the project for the past couple of months, raising awareness and funding in the business community. Eleven local businesses are on board, creating a certain level of excitement.
“I have garnered almost $16,000 from businesses around the community. Eleven businesses have contributed; most of them have given me well over $1,000,” the chief of police explained. “I have personally been meeting with owners and managers to explain the program to them.
“The rest of the money comes from private donations. We’ve had a lot of people from the community dropping off $20 here, $20 there and it has really helped.”
The $25,000 target is to buy the dog and train the team in Spokane full-time for three months. With the addition of new technology like GPS tracking devices funded through a grant, the department policing a community of close to 25,000 can still use an extra set of eyes, or in this case a good nose, to assist in law enforcement.
“We’ve certainly had a great deal of interest and contributions and I would like to thank the citizens and businesses for their support. We’re happy for Ten Pin Brewing to help us over the top,” Moses Lake city manager John Williams said. “The greatest thing about (the K-9 program) is that it adds an extra tool and would be an enhancement to our department in an area that we are currently relying on the (Grant County) sheriff’s department for.”
Fuhr agreed, “We investigate a lot of businesses after hours and we’ll bring in two or three officers and search the building,” he said. “It would be so much more efficient to bring in a K-9 team and one other officer. We could clear that building in a fraction of the time it takes to search with people.
“A lot of times a suspect will take off on foot through terrain we need to search, and the dog would again be more efficient in apprehending suspects and make it much more safe for our officers.”
It’s a team effort to serve and protect and the Moses Lake Police Department is working on a way to make it better.
Businesses and individuals that would like to make a donation to the Moses Lake Police Department K-9 program can contact the department at 509-764-3887.
Rodney Harwood is a sports writer at the Columbia Basin Herald and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.