Local News

Peru police ask for public’s vote for a possible K-9 grant

Voting opens Oct. 19 and runs through Oct. 26

The Peru Police Department is asking for the public’s help in receiving a K-9 grant through the Aftermath Company. This national competitive grant selects its winners through public voting. Voting for the grant opens Tuesday, Oct. 19, and runs through Tuesday, Oct. 26.

Anyone interested in voting can do so https://www.aftermath.com/2021-illinois-k9-nomination/ as individuals are able to vote once every 24 hours.

Grants totaling $25,000 will be awarded to 10 law enforcement agencies or first responders after voting closes for use towards maintenance of an existing K-9 unit or the creation of a new unit.

The Peru Police Department first formed its K9 unit in 2007 when its first canine partnered with Officer Art Smith. Smith has since become a patrol sergeant and supervises the K-9 program.

The work of the unit has resulted in nearly $1 million dollars in current seizures and many large-scale narcotic trafficking arrests over the year.

The K-9 officers have successfully apprehended fleeing criminals and assisted in the search for missing people.

The Peru Police Department employs two K-9s for on-duty assistance. K-9 Saxon is a six-year-old Belgian Malinois and has been partnered with Officer Ryan Kowalczyk since November of 2017.

Saxon is a passive alert dog trained to detect the odors of marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine. He also is trained to track down missing persons and fleeing suspects with several successful tracks under his belt.

K-9 Maddox is the newest addition to the Peru police and is partnered with Officer Matt Peters. Maddox is a 16-month-old male German Shepherd from the Czech Republic.

Maddox is a dual-purpose dog trained in narcotic detection, apprehension, article searches and tracking. He will be used in the Peru police patrol division and provides support for surrounding agencies as well as K-9 demos and community events.