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Comedy Event To Benefit Newark K-9 Unit

After 9 years of dedicated service with the Newark Police Department, K-9 officers Ike and Bear are heading for retirement.

The Newark Police Department, along with the Licking County Humane Society and 31 West are hosting a night of comedy by Raise The Woof  traveling comedy show. This show will raise money for the Newark Police K9 Unit to purchase and train two new canine officers.

The event will be held May 17th at 31 West on Church St. in Newark from 8-10. Tickets are 20 dollars and all proceeds go directly to the K-9 unit.

Sgt. Doug Bline, who supervises the dogs and their handlers, Officers Dave Burris and Jon Purtee, respectively, is coordinating the effort to start planning for the transition to the new K-9s.

“We’re doing the fundraising knowing it will take a while,” Bline said. “We don’t want to get where we’re going without a K-9.”

Newark Police have one of the longest running canine units in the state, dating back to 1969, and the city has never paid out of pocket for the police dogs.

The fundraising effort aims to raise about $28,000. The police dogs will cost about $10,000 each and will come pre-trained and ready for between five and eight weeks of training with their handlers.

 The additional $8,000 will be used for equipment for the dogs, including bite sleeves, leashes, training necessities and veterinary bills.

The department is also in the process of obtaining money from the city for multiple new police cruisers, two of which will be used for the K-9s. This is necessary as the k-9’s handler has the ability to release the dog from the car a distance away, and this is a malfunction they have seen in the past. Plus these vehicles have special cooling systems and monitors.

Newark’s canines are used on an almost daily basis by Newark officers on traffic stops, in schools, tracking missing people or suspects who have fled and a variety of other situations. They also assist with other agencies when needed throughout Licking County.

Donations can be made by making checks payable to the Newark Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association C/O K-9 Fund and can be sent to the Newark Police Department. The department also has an online GoFundMe page where donations can be made.

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