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K-9 Unit Unleashed

Fundraising brought in enough money to start Greendale's first K-9 police unit, but more work is needed to maintain it for the future.

After months of support from the community, the Greendale Police Department is ready to unleash the K-9 Unit.

The Greendale Village Board approved Tuesday night to implement the K-9 Unit at no cost to the village.

The Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals is providing the department with a $14,000 Belgian Malinois dog and an $850 protective resistant dog vest.

The department was able to raise all the necessary funds to get the program started through donations and fundraising that included T-shirt sales, private donations, business sponsorships, and a bake sale.

Officer Tony Fitzgerald has been selected to be the department’s first handler. Part of his duties will include training with the dog and taking the dog home to respond immediately on scene when needed. Fitzgerald will be sent to train in North Carolina in April.

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With a dual-purpose dog the department can assist patrol in officer protection, building searches, tracking suspects, deter drugs or crime, locate missing persons, drug searches, and K9 education.

When asked by board how the program will be financially maintained, Police Chief Robert Malasuk said the department would continue to fundraise. Malasuk said that $8,000 a year should be enough money to keep the K-9 program running and fund it for the future.

While the department is able to get the program off the ground, there is much fundraising to do for additional equipment.

Culvers in Hales Corner will provide a percentage of sales on Nov. 21 to the department to support the K-9 Unit. 

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