After months of fundraising, the Bowman Sheriff’s Department is looking forward to a new K-9 member joining the team.
By Frank Turner
Through the month of August, Sergeant Douglass Langhoff will travel to Iowa to train with Ruby, a two-year old chocolate lab. After training, the dog will be ready for duty in Bowman County.
According to Sheriff Frank Eberle, Ruby will be the department’s first K-9 unit in a long time. Eberle said that the addition of a new K-9 unit will benefit the efficacy of Bowman law enforcement.
Although the dog is referred to as a single use dog, Ruby has many applications for law enforcement. After training in Iowa, Ruby and her handler will be able to detect narcotics, conduct items searches, and assist in seeking missing persons.
Sheriff Eberle said that he is excited to get the dog working out in the field both locally and for surrounding areas.
“We will be glad to assist any agency that requests us for mutual aid,” said Eberle. “We would be glad to do it.”
In total, the department raised $24,000 to get the new unit. The money raised went toward the initial purchase of the animal, training both the handler and dog, insurance, and maintenance costs.
“To my understanding, the dog cost about $2,000, and the training for the dog and officer cost around $6,000,” said Eberle. “There are some maintenance costs, of course, with food, insurance, and shots. The dog is also insured here just like any other employee, just at a lower cost.”
Eberle estimated that maintenance costs alone could total up to $5,000 per year.
According to Eberle, $4,000 worth of matched funds for the new drug dog came from the National Police Dog Foundation, while the remainder was fundraised through Bowman’s community support.
“… The remainder of the funds came from businesses and public donations from events like our rib fest and weekly brats,” said Eberle. “I think people support it because they know we do have issues down here with narcotics.
Eberle continued, “We all want a safe community and, just from my personal experience, the community has always supported law enforcement around here and the decisions to make the community here as safe as possible.”
Sheriff Eberle said that he expects to have the dog out working in the Bowman community by early September. He said that the department is really looking forward to working with Ruby.
“Our K-9 handler is very motivated. He does some of his own research and he has done a really nice job on this.”