Thursday, November 8, 2012

Volunteering again....

Last Monday I agreed to be a member of the Board of Directors for “Dollars for Dogs” which provides dogs and equipment for the Anchorage Police Department’s K-9 unit.

The Public is largely unaware that the purchase of the dogs and the equipment does not come from City tax dollars. The money is donated by individuals and organizations through fund-raising events like the event I played at last month. The volunteer members of “Dollars for Dogs” provide and manage this service. In 1975 the Anchorage Police Department had no canine unit. That was the year Officer John Flora was
shot and killed while investigating a burglary. His widow established a memorial fund in his name, with the expressed purpose of raising money to start a canine unit for APD.

Ten years later, Officer H.B. Hanson, a K-9 handler, was fatally wounded while helping another K-9 team apprehend an armed suspect. A memorial fund in his name was also established to benefit APD’s K-9 Unit. Both memorial funds were combined, and Dollars for Dogs, Inc., a volunteer organization, was entrusted with the management of the funds.

Since 1985 Dollars for Dogs, Inc. has worked tirelessly in support of the Anchorage Police Department and citizens of Anchorage. This kind of support, and having high-caliber officers, has helped to make the Anchorage Police Department K-9 Unit known throughout the United States and Canada.

Our goal has been to ensure that each officer has available the finest dog, equipment and training to protect and serve the public. With the donations received from private citizens, businesses, veterans organizations, and service organizations like the Pythian Sisters, Rotary Club, Lion’s Club, and others, our goals have largely been met. The Anchorage Police Department does not have to rely on the usual government bid process to buy their K-9s or equipment, consequently, they are able to afford the best available. My son, Jason, is a K-9 officer and member of the SWAT team.