Sheriff’s Office continues progress on K-9 program

Published 10:05 am Friday, March 4, 2016

The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office has received several donations since December to help offset the county’s cost of implementing its K-9 program.

The Freeborn County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday morning approved a $500 donation to the program.

Commissioners also approved a $5,300 donation in December, a $70 donation in January and a $1,100 donation, along with others, in February.

Kurt Freitag

Kurt Freitag

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Donations have helped the Sheriff’s Office purchase equipment, including the kennel used in the K-9 vehicle, leashes and trainer aids for the K-9, Stalker.

Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag said fundraising is off to a good start but still has a long way to go.

A fundraiser for the program is tentatively scheduled for April 2.

Implementation is expected to cost $44,500: $8,500 for the K-9, $31,000 for equipment and $5,000 for classes and schooling.

Freitag said he does not have a set goal he wants to raise, and donations have come from citizens and businesses in Freeborn County.

“I greatly appreciate their generosity to a point where I do make contact with each person and business who donates to us to help us fund this very important program,” Freitag said.

He said the donations will help the program and noted without them he is not sure the program could work.

He said Stalker, who was named in honor of Corey Goodnature, a chief warrant officer in the U.S. Army who was killed in action June 28, 2005, has completed a narcotics detection class and has done well.

After taking a month off, Stalker will take part in a 10-week course in April that teaches tracking, apprehension and patrol techniques.

Freitag expects Stalker to be ready for duty in June.

Stalker will fill areas of need for the Sheriff’s Office, including drug interdiction work on the interstates, helping the Sheriff’s Office locate missing persons and tracking and apprehending criminals.

Patrol Deputy Adam McKane is the K-9 handler.

Freitag advised anyone interested in donating to either write out a check or place a cash donation to the Sheriff’s Office. He stressed that all donations will go toward the program.

Stalker was purchased through Performance Kennels Inc., a Minnesota-based organization that aims to supply and train police dogs.

In other action, the board:

Approved resolutions accepting the resignations of dispatchers Anne Cunningham, Vickie Storlie and Jennifer Jordahl and voted to fill the positions.

Authorized a loan for a ditch on the west side of Freeborn County.

Amended the county’s paid time-off policy. Employees who leave with less than eight hours of paid time off now will be directly paid instead of having the money placed in his or her medical account.

Approved a resolution approving various repairs to the county’s drainage system.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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