Dept. looks to raise funds for new K-9 vehicle | Community Spirit
The police department has partnered with a local grocery business to help raise funds for a new squad for K-9 officer Larz over the next few weeks.
Cottage Grove Police Officer Tony Koratko, Larz's handler, said beginning Friday and continuing through May 4, officers will occasionally be on site at the Piggly Wiggly, 421 W. Cottage Grove Road, to help customers bag and load groceries. The store will accept donations to go toward the cost of training and equipment for Larz. The goal over the more than two-week fundraiser is to collect $10,000.
There is also a special daylong event planned on April 26 in which the community can come to the Piggly Wiggly for photo opportunities in Larz's squad car and with the K-9 and other officers. The April 26 event coincides with National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Hometown Pharmacy, located next to Piggly Wiggly, will be accepting unwanted or expired prescription drugs to keep them out of medicine cabinets and safely dispose of them.
Koratko, who's been with CGPD for eight years, said the majority of funds raised over the next two weeks will go toward the purchase of a new squad car for Larz, as the current vehicle is the oldest of the fleet and has the most miles.
The total cost for bringing Larz to the Cottage Grove Police Department is $60,000, of which $28,000 has been raised, Koratko said. The officer also said Larz has been an important addition to the force.
"What an asset, he's had such good success," Koratko said. "He's gotten narcotics out of vehicles. He's had some success with tracking. The communities, both the town and the village, have had good support for the dog."
Koratko said Larz has helped sweep vehicles for drugs and in some cases has been a quicker, safer option to clear a building. Larz joined CGPD in June 2013.
For information on how to donate, visit https://cottagegrovepolice.org/police-k9. Checks made payable to "CGPDK9" can also be dropped off at the police department or Piggly Wiggly.