CRC Reaches 2017 Fundraising Goal for APD K9 Unit
When CRC considers its area of focus for its corporate giving program each year, it looks at how it can best benefit education, youth development, culture and arts, health, human services, and animal welfare in the communities in which it works. That’s why when deciding which organization CRC could work with and raise money for in 2017 – a special year since CRC reached its 25th anniversary – the Austin Police Department’s K9 unit seemed like a natural fit.
CRC employees were challenged to raise at least $2,000 to benefit the unit, with CRC matching the money raised up to $2,000. A number of fundraisers were held throughout the year, including a CRC-logoed clothing sale, silent auctions, and the sale of over 200 CRC 25th anniversary cookbooks, bringing the total raised, including CRC’s match, to $4,232 for the year. Recently CRC’s President and CEO Chris Holt met with Officer Derek Ellis and his K9 partner Rudy to hand over the money donated by CRC and its employees.
The money donated to the department will be deposited into its K9 Foundation. The foundation was started two years ago to help the City of Austin alleviate costs of the program. This year the department plans to use the fund to purchase a full-body, padded bite suit to protect the people acting as decoys during their realistic training exercises, costing about $1,200. The rest of the funds will be saved for future expenses, such as replacing K9 Rudy when he reaches retirement age or possibly adding a second K9 someday. Typically costs to purchase a K9 runs between $10,000 - $15,000.
The Austin Police Department’s K9 program was founded in 1987 by Officer Kevin Royce and Chief Don Hoffman. The K9 unit, which is certified through the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA), serves a dual purpose: narcotics detection and patrol.
“Derek and Rudy are used primarily for drug searches and searching for criminal suspects who run or hide from the police,” explained Lt. Matt Holten, who supervises the K9 program. “On occasion, Rudy is deployed to physically apprehend felony suspects and search for evidence.”
According to Holten, Rudy is the defending Region 12 champion dog, placing first from a field of over 80 dogs at the USPCA Patrol K9 Trial. Holton said that in a normal year, Rudy is deployed roughly 125 times. He also assists the Southeastern Minnesota Narcotics Task Force and is used for drug searches in area schools. He has been recognized several times by the USPCA for his work, including finding a loaded handgun that was discarded by a convicted felon (thrown into a field), finding 8 grams of methamphetamine that was hidden in clay in a Play-Doh can, and apprehending a vehicle theft suspect who had fled from responding officers on foot.
CRC has partnered with the K9 unit in the past, donating money in 2000 that was used for the initial two-week narcotics training course for the two K9’s they had at the time. The police department has also been very supportive of CRC’s Mower County Humane Society Meet-and-Greet fundraisers in the past, offering a K9 demonstration at four of the events.
“Our local police officers provide such an important service to the community, putting their lives at risk every time they report to work to keep us safe,” said Holt. “We’re happy to support their K9 program and hope that the money raised helps meet the needs of K9 Rudy and any other dogs that join the program in the future.”
Holten is pleased CRC chose to support the police department’s K9 program for its recent fundraising efforts. “Thank you to CRC’s employees,” he added. “You are such a blessing to us.”
To learn more about what Officer Ellis and K9 Rudy are up to, check out the APD K9 Unit’s Facebook page at @austinminnesotapdk9. Anyone interested in donating money to the APD K9 program can either drop off a check at the Law Enforcement Center (201 1st St. NE in Austin) or mail it to the following address: Austin Police Department, 201 1st ST. NE, Suite #2, Austin, MN 55912. Checks should be made out to the City of Austin K9 Program.
CRC is a nationwide, cooperatively owned and operated, 24/7 contact center and alarm monitoring center with nearly 300 employees companywide. Founded in 1992, CRC has steadily increased the size and scope of its operation with offices in Austin, Minn., Dunlap, Tenn., and Abilene, Texas. CRC serves over 440 members and associate members in 45 states, representing 8 million consumers. Visit CRC on the web at www.crc.coop.