Dave Hedges is the secretary of the Milwaukie Public Safety Foundation, which has raised sufficient funding to be able to offer support to the Milwaukie Police K9 Unit for the foreseeable future

Thanks to the generous support of businesses, organizations, citizens of Milwaukie and surrounding areas, the Milwaukie Public Safety Foundation (MPSF) has raised sufficient funding to be able to offer support to the Milwaukie Police K9 Unit for the foreseeable future.

PHOTO COURTESY: CITY OF MILWAUKIE - The Milwaukie Public Safety Foundation raised and donated $13,750 for the purchase of Yago and the training for the new K-9 and Officer Les Hall in 2013.We helped in the purchase of Jag, and fully funded his replacement and current K9, Yago. Both dogs were purchased high-quality ballistic and stab-proof vests. These vests have a shelf life of about five to seven years and are replaced by us when required. We have enough funds to be able to purchase a replacement for Yago when that time comes and properly equip that dog too.

We now wish to protect the K9 officers already in service, and the MPSF will change the future focus of our K9 fund to provide ballistic and stab-proof vests for law-enforcement agencies where K9s either do not have a vest or are using a secondhand vest. The MPSF would like to start working with local law enforcement agencies, or agencies that have a connection to Milwaukie.

The MPSF will continue to organize the 9K for K9 Walk. The next walk will be July 14, and all money raised will go to fund the ballistic vest program. Our long-term goal is to provide our program statewide as funding allows.

The first recipient of a new K9 protective vest will be the city of Hubbard Police Department K9 unit, and the department has already ordered a vest of their choosing, and MPFS will pay the supplier directly for it.

The MPSF would like to thank all of those that volunteered their time, gave donations and sponsorships to sustain the Milwaukie Police K-9 Unit and the annual 9K for K9 Walk since it began in 2008. We hope that the community will be equally as committed to our new focus in the future, and we look forward to you joining us July 14 for the 2018 9K for K9 Walk.

We assure all donors that whatever they give will be used exclusively for the project for which their funds are designated. No funds are used for any other purpose, and the current Milwaukie K-9 Unit account will be frozen until funds are needed to further support the MPD K-9 Unit. We thank all of our supporters for making this possible.

Dave Hedges is Milwaukie Public Safety Foundation secretary.

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