Crete Police Department adds K9 program
The Crete Police Department’s first K9 team will be officially introduced very soon with handler, Officer Audrey Arbuckle, and Hunk, a one-year-old Belgian Malinois.
Officer Arbuckle and Hunk trained for five weeks together in Texas starting in August and returned in September. They will continue a routine of training in Crete and with area K9 teams leading up to their state certification on Oct. 17. They have also made several appearances at local events where Hunk's excellent temperament is evident.
Hunk will reside with Arbuckle in Crete where he will work as a ‘dual purpose’ dog trained in patrol and narcotics. He’ll be well fed with an ample supply of food from Nestle Purina - Crete, which approached the department with an offer to donate. His health care will be provided at no cost by Lothrop Veterinary Clinic.
Arbuckle is a senior patrol officer on the Crete Police Department with a degree in Criminal Justice from Midland University. She also serves as a Field Training Officer and is a recipient of the department’s Life Saving Award.
The process of adding a K9 program to the police department’s services began during discussions with city officials and detailed research was followed by a corresponding department presentation to the Crete City Council in March. The Council approved an agreement with TCI (True Canine International) in June for a K9 purchase and Handler Certification Course. A new, outfitted patrol vehicle is included in the 2022-2023 police department budget.
Donations are also being collected to fund additional equipment and supplies for the K9 program, a common practice of programs locally and elsewhere. Several local businesses have or will be holding fundraising events and the Crete Community Foundation is working with the city to set up tax deductible online donations.