UPD needs to raise $80,000 to afford a police dog. | Courtesy Photo

The University Police (UPD) will hold a fundraiser to cover the initial startup costs of a K-9 unit on Saturday, Jan. 30.

A K-9 unit would allow UPD to be proactive, Chief of Police George Hughes said. However, the upfront costs of the program are very expensive.

It costs $80,000 for the dog, customized K-9 car, training for the dog and officer, food, veterinary costs and housing for the dog.

“There’s just not money in the budget for this,” Hughes said. “We have other priorities.”

That’s why the UPD will be raising the funds for this program. The fundraiser will be held at Laguna Lake Park and is called the “K-9 Fun Run.” It will include a 5k and a 10k. There is also an option to make a donation.

There have been numerous occasions where K-9 forces have been needed at Cal Poly, according to Hughes, and UPD has found it difficult to depend on other areas for those forces.

“We’ve always had to borrow those resources,” Hughes said.

The K-9 forces are used for drug sweeps, preemptive security sweeps, and other similar situations, according to Hughes.

“Just two weeks ago, with the bus bomb situation, we had to borrow the K-9s,” Hughes said. “We pulled dogs from all over the place.”

The closest place with a K-9 unit is the security force at Hearst Castle, and Hughes said they had to wait an hour before even starting to search the buses.

To participate in the fundraiser, people can sign up on Eventbrite.com under “University Police First Annual 5&10K.” The entry fee is $45, which covers registration, a T-shirt and a barbecue meal at the end.

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