Macomb PD to expand K-9 program

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 7:00 PM CST
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MACOMB (WGEM) - Since 2018, Mac has been the only dog in the Macomb Police Department’s K-9 Program. However, new efforts are being made that could change that.

Starting last week, MPD is fundraising to bring one more K-9 on board. Fundraising efforts are going towards a new, fully equipped vehicle, another dog and the cost of training for a new handler and the dog.

Investigator and K-9 handler Nick Severs has been at Mac’s side since 2018. Severs said he and Mac go on deployments between two and ten times per week.

That includes street deployments as well as community demonstrations.

“We know that the need is there for it, there’s obviously unfortunately drugs in the Macomb-McDonough County area and we want to combat that,” Severs said.

Since 2020, Mac has been deployed more than 130 times that resulted in over 60 arrests, the seizure of $14,821 in cash and 21.5 ounces of illegal narcotics among other contraband.

“Mac is able to respond during the normal duration of a traffic stop and we can run him around the vehicle if he alerts or indicates the odor of illegal narcotics and we can then search that car,” Severs added.

While Mac assists the department in evidence search, Severs said the K-9 is also utilized when a suspect flees a scene or a resident gets lost.

There was a period before 2018 in which the K-9 program lapsed due to an early retirement of a dog and another passing away.

The venture to expand the K-9 program, Severs said, is an expensive one but would benefit the community. He estimates the cost being upwards of $30,000.

“The K-9 will be trained in article detection, evidence searches, human tracking and narcotics detection,” Severs said.

Police Chief Jerel Jones added that the K-9 program plays a role in bridging the gap between the community and the police department.

“Going back to the community engagement with the children it’s very important, a lot of children a lot of families have really enjoyed being a part of those demonstrations over the years.”

Jones said Severs and Mac make frequent visits to area schools.

Jones is hopeful to have another K-9 in the program in early 2023.

Donations can be made by mailing the department at 120 South MacArthur Street, Macomb, Ill. 61455.

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