Newly appointed Eufaula Police Chief David Bryning urged Chamber of Commerce members last week to support the current drive to raise funds for two K9 units for his department.
The goal is $20,000. Heading the drive is Lake Dog and Their People with the cooperation of the police department.
The Chamber meeting was held Friday at Boomarang Diner.
“In the last three years I have seen the necessity for a narcotics dog, at least one, but now we’re seeking funds for two K9s,” said Bryning, who was appointed chief at this month’s City Council meeting after serving three months as interim chief following the resignation of Mark Goodwin.
Bryning told the Chamber that he was a K9 handler for eight years before retiring from the Oroville Police Department and eventually settling in Eufaula, joining the local police force.
He hopes to raise enough money to buy two K9 officers, which cost about $10,000 apiece when factoring in training.
He wants the K9s for two shifts, because of the high rate of drug trafficking that passes through the county on U.S. 69 and SH9 highways.
“Oklahoma is No. 1 trafficking in the nation, not only for human trafficking but for illegal narcotics.
“I can tell you without a doubt we have missed several large loads of illegal narcotics. The criminals are smart. They know what our limits are.”
One of the limits is being unable to search vehicles and suspects without probable cause.
Officers have to rely on eyesight.
With K9s trained to smell drugs, they have a new dimension in their crime-fighting arsenal.
When trained K9 stops and alerts on a vehicle, that becomes a probable cause to conduct a search.
“That’s been my forte in the past,” he said.
Bryning’s training was with dual purpose dogs – those trained in apprehension (those that chase fleeing suspects) and detection (of drugs).
“I don’t think we have a necessity for an apprehension dog right now, but we definitely need a narcotic intervention and detection dog,” he said.
In addition to sniffing out drugs on suspects in vehicles, homes and other locations, the K9s will also be of use in searching for drugs in schools.
The $20,000 investment in the dogs will pay for itself, Bryning said.
“I’m not worried about the funding after we get the K9s. It’s going to fund itself. There is that much narcotics in this area. It will be selfsupporting.
Often a lot of money is found with caches of illegal drugs, money that eventually could go to the police department and other agencies.
Bryning said he is thankful for the community’s support.
Contributions have been made by: – Dr. Edwin and Sandra Henslee who donated $1,000, as did Zack and Angela McQuay.
– Bank of Eufaula and Eufaula NAPA Auto Parts made contributions.
– Rowe and Shawn Nelson, owners of Belt40, will host a fundraising dinner at their restaurant on Thursday, Aug. 31.
– Stites Home Furnishings will contribute10% from Saturday sales in August (beginning Aug. 12).
– Mama Tig’s, on Thursday, August 24, will donate 10% of sales that day to the Eufaula Police K9 Unit.
– E’s Hideaway Restaurant , on Tuesday, Aug. 22, will donate10% of that day’s sales to the Eufaula Police K9 Unit.
– Fox Place, on Tuesday, Aug. 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., will donate 15 percent of sales to help raise money for Eufaula Police K9 Unit (this after-hours event will have a free gift with each purchase. Snacks, drinks and door prizes).
-Nicole’s & Meme’s, on Friday, Aug. 18, will donate 10% from sales that day to the Eufaula Police K9 Unit.
– Lake Dog and Their people, through the month of August, will have raffles, K9 T-shirt sales and fun bin dog toy sales ( half will go to Eufaula Police K9 Unit and the other half will to McIntosh County K9 Unit).
– High Street Coffee, on Tuesday, Aug. 22 through Saturday, Aug. 26, will donate 20 percent of sales to the Eufaula Police Department.
Anyone who wants to make a donation can send it to: City of Eufaula Police Department PO Box 684, Eufaula, OK 74432 Checks payable to: Eufaula Police Department.