When the Carroll Police Department in Iowa announced a $20,000 fund drive to train and hire a new canine officer, Hy-Vee Store Director Brad Auge knew immediately that he wanted to help.
“Hy-Vee believes strongly in giving back to communities,” Auge said. “We appreciate the work the police department does to keep us safe.”
Police Chief Brad Burke said the department lost its drug-sniffing dog in 2007, when the training officer left for another job, “and we just didn’t replace them.”
Fundraising for a new four-legged officer began earlier this year when some local high-schoolers turned the effort into a class project.
“They wanted to benefit the community,” Burke said. “The kids came to us with the idea and we said ‘Let’s do it.’”
“I really wanted to make a big impact,” he said. “But I also really wanted it to come from us: the employees at Hy-Vee.”
So he ordered an oversized check, made it out for $5,000, and invited Burke to drop by the store.
Burke said he knew a Hy-Vee donation was in the offing, but the amount “caught me off-guard.”
“We definitely appreciate it,” he said. “It goes a long way.”
The Hy-Vee contribution pushed the overall total raised past $18,000. At last check, police had the $20,000 target in sight. An 8-month-old Belgian Malinois is already in training — to assist with narcotics, tracking people and property, and officer protection — and is expected to join the force before the end of the year.