Community groups or other people who want to help support the Simi Valley Police Department’s canine program can do so through a special account approved by the City Council.
Police Chief Lindsey P. Miller sought to set up the account, saying many service clubs, organizations and local residents want to help pay for the 12-year-old canine program, which made 38 arrests last year.
The department’s two dogs and their handlers also aided in 168 other arrests and joined in more than 700 searches for suspects and narcotics.
Police departments in Ventura, Oxnard and Santa Paula have separate accounts for canine donations and have used this money to buy dogs. But Simi Valley’s police dogs have been purchased through the city’s general fund and through assets seized in drug investigations.
The new account could eventually raise enough money to pay for a third police dog, if the council decides the animal is needed.
In a related matter, the council has agreed to retire Carlo, one of the city’s two police dogs, and to purchase a new canine with $12,000 from the city’s forfeited drug-related assets funds.
Carlo, an 8-year-old German shepherd, is nearing the end of his working life, and his police handler, Ron Chambers, is being moved to a new assignment outside the canine unit, Miller said.
The council has agreed to sell Carlo to Chambers for $1.