LaPorte Police Department stock

LaPorte Police Department car

Stan Maddux, The Times

LAPORTE — The Police Department is accepting donations so it can have a second police dog on duty.

Capt. Bill Degnegaard said a second drug-sniffing dog would probably be assigned to afternoons.

The department’s only dog, Rambo, is on midnights.

"We definitely need another one," said Roger Galloway, councilman from the city’s 4th Ward.

With money tight, the Police Department has started a K-9 fund to pay for the anticipated $18,000 cost.

Degnegaard said much of the expense is for converting the rear passenger area of a police car into a secure holding place for the dog so he's not tossed around the back seat in his travels.

Training both the dog and the officer handling the animal is also a major part of the price tag, he said.

Eventually, the department could add a third dog to have one for each shift.

But that will depend on the results achieved from adding a second dog and fundraising, Degnegaard said.

Currently, the department calls for a dog from the sheriff’s office when needed, but one is not always readily available.

The result is drugs getting overlooked, perhaps, or suspects on foot slipping away.

"There might be times we missed stuff because a dog wasn’t there at the time," Degnegaard said.

Degnegaard said donors should make checks payable to the LaPorte Police K-9 fund.

He’s hoping the city eventually will kick in some dollars toward the purchase.

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