Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

December 3, 2013

Raceland to add police dog

Canine to be trained in drug detection, tracking

Kenneth Hart
The Independent

RACELAND — It didn’t take Raceland Police Officer John Ross long to achieve what he said was one of his major career goals.

Ross, who graduated from the police academy in June, said he had always wanted to be a canine officer.

Recently, the city council voted to appoint Ross to that position with the Raceland Police Department. In so doing, the council gave its blessing for Ross to purchase a dog and develop a canine program for the department.

According to Ross, the addition of a dog, which will be trained in both drug detection and tracking, will be done without cost to the city or its taxpayers. A donor — whom Ross said has asked to remain anonymous — has agreed to pay for the animal, he said.

Ross said he is exploring a couple of different avenues for obtaining a dog. He said he hoped to have one purchased by the first of the year and to be “fully operational” with the animal by spring.

Once the program is up and running, the Raceland Police Department will be the only law-enforcement agency in Greenup County with a canine unit, Ross said.  He said he intended to make himself and the animal availabe to the other agencies.

One of the reasons the anonymous donor agreed to make the money available to purchase the dog was the individual felt at least one department in the county should have one, Ross said. He also said he had established a strong rapport with the donor, who “knows I’m very proactive in my police work.”

Ross said others have come forward with in-kind donations for the program. All About Animals of Flatwoods has agreed to provide veterinary services, and Tint Wizard had added the required markings to Ross’ cruisers and also has agreed to tint the vehicle’s windows, he said.

He said additional financial donations are being sought for the program, and anyone wishing to contribute can do so by dropping off a check with “canine fund” written on the memo line at the police department.

Ross said he was extremely excited about getting the program off the ground, but, at the same time, wanted to make sure everything was in order before doing so.

“I’ve only got one shot at this, so I’ve got to make it right,” he said.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.