"For a while there's a little bit of sadness that goes along when you lose a member of your family," says Pocatello Police Captain Cliff Kelley. Back in November, the police department suddenly lost Bart the K9 officer. While many are still grieving the loss, the department is getting ready to purchase a new police dog thanks to a generous donation from a local family.
"Our K9s are as much a part of our department as anybody," states Captain Kelley as he thinks about Bart. The K9 officer had been with the department for five-and-a-half years before he died suddenly from health complications.
When the Meador family (of Phil Meador Auto Group) heard about Bart's passing, they decided to get involved. "We just wanted to be able to step up and help," adds Jason Meador who is the general manager at Phil Meador Toyota. "So, we called the police department and told them that we would pay for a new dog, basically."
Earlier this month, the city council accepted the $10,000 dollar donation from the Meadors. Now, the police department plans on getting a new dog within the month, and like it's predecessor it will be a dual-purpose K9. "One (purpose) is apprehension," explains Captain Kelley. "The other (purpose) is narcotics."
The captain explains that the new K9 officer will be trained by its handler at the department "and a few months down the road they will be certified together as a team."
Captain Kelley says because Bart passed away so unexpectedly the department hadn't budgeted for the cost of a new K9. The whole department appreciates the Meador family stepping in to help.