The Tarkio Police Department is currently in the exploring process to receive a K9 to join the squad. The Police Department applied for and received notification that they were approved for a grant for a pit bull through Universal K9. Universal K9 solely exists to save dogs to train for law enforcement and veterans. The dogs are pulled from shelters and then trained for police work. The dogs are trained in techniques to identify contraband smugglers and narcotics users during transit, as well as commercial vehicle interdiction, and hotel and consensual encounters interdiction. This program will give the trained K9 and provide handler training for free, but the department will have to budget around $5,000 in costs for essentials.
Being situated where it is, only ten minutes from the interstate and with highways leading to Iowa and east across the state, Tarkio is a hotspot for drug and drug money transport. Having a K9 would be a huge asset to the department in keeping the roads and citizens safe. The K9 will also be used for searches in town, as well as searches (if needed) and student programs at the Tarkio R-I School District. The students will be able to interact with the highly trained dog and learn about how it works with the police officer.
The process of adding this expense is being considered for next year’s budget.  Receiving the dog and having the officer trained alongside the K9, makes the projected time the dog will actually be in service around late summer, early fall of 2018. A specially bred dog from overseas costs between $15,000 to $20,000, depending on the amount of training. So not only is this program extremely cost effective, but it also saves a dog’s life, and the lives of citizens it may encounter. It’s definitely a step in the right direction for police departments all over the United States using dogs to fight crime and a step forward in curbing the heartbreaking, senseless deaths of millions of shelter dogs daily.