AJ police prepare to retire their K-9 officer, Daimont

Apache Junction Police Officer Justin Griffith after he and Daimont won an award at a regional competition for dog/officer teams in law enforcement. (Courtesy of Apache Junction Police Department)

Apache Junction Police Officer Justin Griffith after he and Daimont won an award at a regional competition for dog/officer teams in law enforcement. (Courtesy of Apache Junction Police Department)

 

For the past several years, canine officer Daimont has been an integral part of the Apache Junction Police Department’s K-9 Drug/Search Unit.

The unit, comprised of Daimont and her human companion officer, has proven to be one of the department’s best crime fighting tools.

This dynamic team has been effective in interdicting drugs and detaining drug dealers; searching for evidentiary items, lost persons or fleeing suspects; while still deterring crimes of opportunity.

Unfortunately, due to advancing age and persistent problems with Valley Fever, it is anticipated that Daimont will need to retire in 12-18 months.

Police Chief Thomas E. Kelly has begun to plan for Daimont’s inevitable departure from the department.

The chief has identified a grant program that may provide the funds to secure another canine officer, the cost of such an officer can be from $7,000 to $8,500. Additionally, and unfunded, would be the extensive training that the canine and human companion officer need before being deployed.

Costing approximately $2,500, the intensive six-week training program concludes with both the human and canine officers getting certified in drug detection and search/rescue skills.

The Friends of Apache Junction is assisting the Apache Junction Police Department in raising funds for the department’s K-9 drug/search unit.

This is where the public can help.

By making a minimum donation of $20 you will help the K-9 drug/search unit to secure the necessary training. For your donation, you will receive a stuffed replica of Daimont, our own K-9 hero.

 

Apache Junction Police Department K-9 Officer Daimont with plush toys made in her image. (Courtesy of Apache Junction Police Department)

Apache Junction Police Department K-9 Officer Daimont with plush toys made in her image. (Courtesy of Apache Junction Police Department)

 

You can make a donation and receive your stuffed hero at the following Apache Junction locations:

•Paws and Claws Care Center, 725 E. Baseline Road.

•Apache Junction Parks and Recreation Department, 1001 N. Idaho Road

•Development Services Department, Building D, City Hall Complex, 300 E. Superstition Boulevard.

•Donations for K-9 Heroes can also be made online through the Friends of Apache Junction website. Go to the donate page and enter K-9 Hero in the box marked purpose.

All funds raised will be used to provide training for the city’s new canine officer and his/her human companion. If grant funds are not secured, all funds raised would be used to secure a new canine officer.

The portion of a donation that exceeds the value of any gift a donor may receive is tax deductible. The estimated fair market value of the Daimont replica is $8 per dog. There is a limited supply of the replica dogs left.

For additional information, call Roger Hacker with the city of Apache Junction at 480-474-5086 or e-mail him at rhacker@ajcity.net.

Editor’s note: Al Bravo is the public information officer for the city of Apache Junction.

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