To raise public awareness and support, the K9 unit of the Radford City Police Department, K9 Max, a seven and a half year-old German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois Mix and his handler J.D. Miller are asking the community to vote for the pair to win a $5000 grant.
The community can vote every day until Nov. 7 at the Aftermath K9 grant site online www.aftermath.com/k9-grant/?department=D06231
If the RCPD wins, the grant money would go directly to Radford’s K-9 program to be used for advanced training schools, equipment, food, and any other expenses associated with the maintenance of the unit.
The RCPD currently has four K9 teams for narcotics detection and tracking. They are Officer Fuhrman and K9 Duke, Officer Jenkins and K9 Xander, Officer Stultz and K9 Jekyll and Officer Miller and K9 Max. Max is nationally certified through the North American Police Work Dog Association as a single-purpose narcotics detection K9. He is trained to detect five odors: marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and ecstasy.
“Max and I were paired together after his purchase in December 2014. We became a certified team in March 2015, after attending our K9 basic training school,” Miller said.
The K9 grant program is sponsored by Aftermath Services, the nation’s largest biohazard remediation and trauma cleanup-company who often works with police departments and public health and safety agencies.
Officer JD Miller and his K-9, Max, are asking for votes to help win the top prize.
“Grants like this help a small department like RCPD keep the K-9 unit up and running and are what help keep Max and his handler protecting Radford together,” Jenni Wilder, spokesperson for Radford said.
Asked how long it takes to train a police dog, Officer Miller said, “A long time. Countless hours. Our basic school alone was over 160 hours. We have maintenance training twice a month, which is between 16-20 hours of training. Police K9s are normally started in their training when they are very young puppies. All of Radford’s K9s were purchased pre-trained. The police officer takes a long time to train too.
“Radford’s K-9 unit functions on a tight budget, so any amount of funding that we can get goes a long way. Grants such as Aftermath help to keep the program running for the future and allows RCPD to further protect the City and citizens.”