The department created a special fund to finance its K-9 unit and will host a golf tournament fundraiser May 1 at the Echelon Golf Club in Alpharetta.
The goal is to raise $30,000, said Officer Ara Baronian.
“That would satisfy the cost of the dog, the training, the equipment, the vehicle, the vet, the food … there’s a lot that goes into it,” he said.
The department hopes to get the dog through a K-9 training company, he added.
Baronian said being without a K-9 officer for the last couple months limits what the police can do, and the department has to rely on neighboring police K-9 units.
“Those departments are incredibly supportive,” he said. “They will, when available, lend us their K-9 handler and dog. … Without Alpharetta and the surrounding areas, it would be hard-pressed to get by without a dog, which is why we’re trying to get our own.”
Cities like Alpharetta and Johns Creek have four K-9s each, he explained. Since Milton has a smaller police department of 32 sworn officers, Baronian said ideally two dogs would be good for the department.
He said he hopes the department will meet its fundraising goal by the day of the golf tournament so officers can show off the K-9 to the public and demonstrate what the dog can do.
He said the department’s retired police dog — a Belgian Malinois named DaSilva, who had been with the department for about five years — helped officers track missing people, wanted suspects and hidden narcotics. DaSilva also was a bite dog used to protect the police in certain situations. Baronian said a private resident donated the dog to the police, and DaSilva retired when his handler, former Milton Police Department Officer Brian Kiel, left the department.
Interested donors can contribute to the police department’s K-9 fund by calling (678) 242-2570 or visiting www.cityofmiltonga.us. The cost of playing in the golf tournament is $125 per golfer or $500 for a team of four.
If you go:
Where: Echelon Golf Club, 501 Founders Drive, Alpharetta
When: May 1, 8 a.m. registration, 10 a.m. shotgun start
Cost: $125 per golfer or $500 for a team of four
Register/donate: (678) 242-2570 or www.cityofmiltonga.us