The Westlake Police Department is adding three new officers to their force — all with fur and four-legs.
The K-9 Unit has been a year in the making, with the Kiwanis Club taking the lead on raising funds for the police dogs and their training. The three dogs, their training and their specialized SUVs cost roughly $35,000 each.
The dogs — Timmy, Dax, and Cash — are all Belgian Malinois and came over from Europe. Their special skills include drug and bomb detection, as well as helping out in schools. They will be used not only by Westlake, but also by surrounding communities as needed.
Much of the funds were raised by grants and private donations — including about $1,000 donated by an 11-year-old girl, Grace Baker.
Baker spent the last year baking and selling homemade dog treats to help raise money.
“Well I love dogs and I don’t have a dog so its cool to see they’re getting dogs because I’ve been raising money," Baker said. "It makes me feel really great because they get to have these awesome dogs and I feel like I helped a lot with that. Just the joy of being able to help other people."
The certified dog lover also runs her own “dog-walking” business in her neighborhood.
The K-9s will be sworn in at Westlake City Council on Monday evening. Grace and the other residents and businesses who helped raise money will be honored at the same time.
Westlake's only other K-9 retired earlier this year, then passed away soon after from cancer.