BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) – A local police officer lost his K9 partner several months ago and has since raised enough money to buy a replacement.
During a six-week fundraising effort, Sgt. John Carroll with the Independence County Sheriff's Office collected several thousand dollars to not just cover the cost of a new police dog but also afford training and other expenses.
In October Sgt. Carroll bought his new police dog named Diesel, a one-year-old Belgian Malinois from Europe.
The sheriff's office was unable to shell out the estimated $8,500 to buy Diesel, so Sgt. Carroll organized several fundraisers and relied on generous donors to replace the police dog that he lost in June.
"It's been seven, eight years that I've had a dog every day," Carroll said, "and the time that I went without a dog from June until October was a lifetime for me."
The total amount of money that he raised topped $9,300, which allowed his new dog Diesel to complete his certification as a police dog.
"There's not any way I can think to express my gratitude and appreciation for the community stepping up," Carroll said.
"The sheriff's office now has the ability, if someone takes off and runs, we have the ability to track him," Carroll added. "He [Diesel] is a tracking dog. He's an apprehension dog. He can go out and apprehend somebody, and he's a narcotics dog."
When Diesel is not training to apprehend someone, he is catching a lot of attention from the students at Batesville High School, where Carroll works as the school resource officer.
"We want our dogs to be what-we-call social dogs," Carroll said. "We want them to interact with people and for people not to be scared, especially of police dogs."
After a few months without, the school is glad to have a police dog back on campus.
"There certainly was a hole in our community," said David Campbell, the Batesville High School principal, "and we felt that by not having that sense of security on campus and so we were tickled to death when we were able to get a new drug dog."
Carroll hopes that Diesel will deter students from bringing drugs onto campus because the dog has already received advanced training to find illegal substances.