BRUNSWICK, Ohio - The fight to get illegal drugs and opioids off the streets is described as a never-ending battle. Now police officers in one community are getting a helping hand as they try to grab hold of this growing epidemic.
Long-time Brunswick resident Sue Esker is on a mission and working to raise money for her police department.
"Whatever we can get to help them out is meaningful for us," said Esker.
The Brunswick Police Department is short on the cash it needs to add a second K-9 unit. Police dogs can cost departments up to $25,000, according to Police Chief Brian Ohlin.
So far the Brunswick Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association has raised about $2,000 to help the department buy, train and maintain a new dog. But it's not nearly enough.
Ohlin tells News 5 another K-9 unit will enhance his department's ability to intercept drugs.
Right now, there is no shortage of work for the department's current K-9, Nico.
"The dog is trained to detect a variety of narcotics to include opioids," said Ohlin.
Since 2014, Nico and his handler have helped in the arrests of more than 200 people and taken nearly 500 caches of drugs and other illegal substances off the streets of Brunswick.
"Having a second team will allow us to spread the coverage across more days and more hours in the day," Ohlin said.
Chief Ohlin took the helm this summer when the budget for 2017 was already complete.
"I was really, really excited about the endeavor and super appreciative," Ohlin said.
The department has re-aligned some funds to cover the cost, but will still need help from the community to make their new K-9 a reality.