CAMPTON HILLS – The Campton Police Department is on the verge of having a K-9 police dog, once it raises an additional $15,000, Chief Steven Millar said.
The first $20,000 was raised in six weeks through social media, Millar said.
The last push is a pancake breakfast from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. April 27 at the Congregational United Church of Christ, 40W451 Fox Mill Blvd., Campton Hills.
In addition to pancakes, there will be scrambled eggs and sausage, orange juice and coffee, with syrup and whipped cream and chocolate chips for the pancakes, Millar said.
There are no tickets to get breakfast, just a straight-up donation, he said.
The breakfast will include a silent auction and donation jars, Millar said.
All the food was donated and all the work to cook the food is donated labor as well, he said.
“The Masons, as well as some local citizens and members of our board of trustees will be cooking,” Millar said. “We are hoping for 200 to 250 people.”
Millar credited Officer Jim Levand with seeing a need for the department to have a K-9 unit.
“There is no tax levy so funds are not there,” Millar said. “Our board said as long we could raise the funds, we could do it.”
Their dog is a German shepherd from the Czech Republic which is being trained at TOPS Kennel in Grayslake, where Levand is also receiving 10 weeks of training, Millar said.
The dog’s name is Koda, Millar said, a Native American word meaning Little Bear or Protector of All.
“This will be a multi-faceted passive rather than an aggressive dog,” Millar said. “He’s going to be a drug detection dog. … He’s going to be doing a lot of community service type things like going to schools and National Night Out.”
Millar said the dog would be helpful in recovering children or adults with autism or adults with dementia who wander away from home.
“We’ve had over 17 of them walk away from their houses,” Millar said.
One was a 10-year-old boy who walked away from his house in the Fox Mill subdivision and was found two hours later at Kirk Road and Route 38 in Geneva.
“A dog would have been a tremendous help,” Millar said.
Koda himself will cost $13,500, Millar said, the rest of the fundraising is to cover the specially equipped K-9 vehicle.
The vehicle is from Veto Enterprises Inc., in Sycamore, he said.
Another collection will be underway to buy Koda a $350 bulletproof vest, though the department is also going to apply for a grant to help pay for that, Millar said.