Plattsmouth Police seek donations for K-9 unit

A Plattsmouth officer is hoping the public will respond to help fund a new partner.
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 10:43 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - They protect taxpayers, but police need tools that a small department can’t afford.

So a Plattsmouth officer is hoping the public will respond to help fund a new partner.

A new police K-9 unit learns how to apprehend a suspect.

“Police department, come out now or I’ll send my dog,” Officer and Dog Handler Alexandra Drake said.

It’s training that won’t take a bite out of the department’s budget or a volunteer’s arm.

Using donated funds, Officer Drake is restarting the department’s K-9 unit with Ares.

“They take us out of harm’s way. We know we have a barricaded subject or we know we have someone in a house that’s extremely dangerous, instead of sending officers in and putting officers’ lives at risk, that’s what these dogs are trained to do.”

Ares’ bite is worse than his bark as K-9 Deputy Justin Hawthorne finds out.

You can actually see some bite marks on his bite suit.

But Ares isn’t being trained to just use his teeth. He’ll learn to sniff out lost kids and adults in exercises like this.

Ares has passed his first test by becoming a state-certified narcotics K-9. Former law enforcement dog handler Ed Van Buren trains by using a hose with cocaine odor and placing it where drug mules often hide their stash.

“And this will work the dog low and under an undercarriage where you’ll find hidden compartments,” Buren said.

But it’s not just more training Ares needs before going on patrol.

”This is not ideal, I make sure he has 100% of the AC so its cooler back here than in the cab for me.”

A cruiser designed for K-9s can’t be purchased without more donations.

“In order for us to get him an actual car, we need equipment, we need donations. This program is completely donation run, it’s not budgeted at all.”

While Ares trains to find evidence and people, his partner won’t stop searching for funds needed to put the K-9 team on the streets of Plattsmouth.

Though money has been raised, the Plattsmouth K-9 unit needs about $30,000 dollars more to be fully funded.

The Plattsmouth Police Foundation is handling the donations at department headquarters.